News from Lori's Parents

15 November 2001

In this update:

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights holds full hearing on Lori's civilian trial

On Monday, November 12th, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (OAS) held a full hearing on Lori's civilian trial in Washington, D.C. Six of the seven Commissioners were present. Lori's Peruvian lawyer, Jose Luis Sandoval Quesada, was joined by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and criminal lawyer Thomas H. Nooter in discussing the flagrant due process violations to the American Convention on Human Rights in Lori's recent trial. Perú's legal team contended that Lori's trial was fair and that her case has not been finalized because her appeal to the Peruvian Supreme Court has not yet been adjudicated. There is no way of telling, but we hope for a Commission decision before the end of the year. It is possible the Commission will seek additional information from the government of Perú and this could delay their decision for several months.

Last year, on October 13, 2000, the Commission held a special hearing on Lori's case before a group of the Commissioners. That was during the early (investigatory) stage of her trial. At the November 12th full hearing Lori's legal team pointed to overwhelming evidence that Peruvian proceedings, both military and civilian, have violated all principles of due process. The military trial was simply an execution of ex-President Fujimori's will and the civilian trial was conducted under the corrupt Fujimori/Montesinos administration during the crucial initial stages and by personnel appointed by Fujimori/Montesinos thereafter.

In April 2000, the Commission ruled that the special civilian courts for terrorism cases are unable to provide trials that meet international standards. Since that time, there have been no changes to the illegal draconian anti-terrorism laws used by these special courts that were established by Fujimori and Montesinos for the dual purpose of combating terrorism and, insidiously, incarcerating and quashing opposition. Thus it is clear, as Lori's legal team argued, that neither Lori nor anyone else can get a fair trial in such courts today.

Urgent action request: religious leader letter signing campaign extended

At the request of many of Lori's supporters, the campaign to obtain signatures of religious leaders has been extended for three more weeks. We are trying to arrange for a religious delegation to go to Perú to deliver the letters during the forthcoming holiday season.

A copy of the letter can be downloaded and printed. A "cover letter" is also available for those of you who want more information about Lori's case when approaching your religious official for signature. The signed letters should be sent to The Committee to Free Lori Berenson, 110 Maryland Avenue NE, Suite 112, Washington, DC 20002.

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson