News from Lori's Parents

18 February 2002

In this update:

Lori joins hunger strike protesting continuing human rights abuses in Perú

Today Lori and other political prisoners at Huacariz Prison in Cajamarca joined a nationwide hunger strike by political prisoners that began in Lima on February 11.

Lori issued a statement which said in part, "I believe that this protest against the policy of human rights abuses which ex-President Fujimori's government implemented ... is a just protest. The fundamental premise of the anti-terrorism legislation continues to be abusive and contrary to Peruvian constitutional principles and international conventions on human rights; and this is to the detriment of thousands of people, amongst whom I am included."

The prisoners issued seven demands summarized as: (1) end impunity for those responsible for crimes against humanity carried out as a state policy; (2) end the prison policy of oppression and revenge and end the arbitrary and violent transfer of prisoners; (3) close down the three worst prisons in Peru (in Callao, Challapalca, and Yanamayo) which have been condemned internationally; (4) abolish the unconstitutional anti-terrorism legislation and pass new laws that provide new trials for political prisoners and sentences that allow for parole; (5) move prisoners to jails closer to their families; (6) Make the Truth Commission more "inclusive" to search for and publicize historical truth about the root causes of problems in Peru; and (7) initiate policies that will satisfy the civil, economic, and social needs of the Peruvian people.

Lori's complete statement and the full text of the demands along with a statement from the political prisoners appears here.

Those of you who wish to write a letter in support of the demands of Lori and other political prisoners to improve human rights in Peru, please address your concerns to President Alejandro Toledo, Embassy of the Republic of Peru, 1700 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20036. The fax number is 202-659-8124.

Supreme Court decision on Lori delayed

The Supreme Court had announced it would render a decision on Lori's appeal by February 12 -- a total of 15 "working days" from the date the appeal was heard. However, on February 12 the Court announced it needed more time. Its latest "guestimate" for a decision is at the end of February. The Court takes vacation in March.

White House call-in campaign continues

Please continue calling the White House hotline, preferably on Tuesdays -- it is better to have many calls on one day than scattered through the week. But please call on another day if Tuesday is inconvenient.

The White House hotline number is 202-456-1111 (press '0' for operator). After giving a brief summary of Lori's situation ("Lori is a young American woman who has spent six years in jail in Peru....") tell the operator that you know that President Bush will be visiting Peru on March 23 and that you urge him to bring Lori home.

Thanks for your continued help,

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson