News from Lori's Parents

15 July 2002

In this update:

Lori is vindicated by Inter-American Commission

As we anticipated, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has vindicated Lori and has acted to bolster human rights in Perú.

The Inter-American Commission has recognized its long established determination that Perú's authoritarian laws instituted by the now disgraced former president Alberto Fujimori are illegal and violate fundamental human rights.

Unfortunately, despite this vindication, Lori continues to be a political prisoner. We have learned that the government of Perú is planning to appeal the ruling of the Inter-American Commission to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. This appeal is frivolous. The Inter-American Court ruled years ago that these repressive laws are illegal and do not meet international standards of fairness and due process. The Peruvian government has done nothing to address this continuing violation of the American Convention on Human Rights and this latest decision not to comply with the Inter-American Commission ruling in Lori's case will further setback human rights in Perú. These Fujimori laws were the act of a tyrant and Perú has a moral obligation to erase these statutes and enact laws that protect its citizens while upholding international standards of human rights.

Lori has been charged and unfairly tried twice under illegal statutes. We must all work together to seek her release ASAP.

Action 1 - Call President Bush

Call President Bush at the White House hotline (202-456-1111 and when instructed press 0 for a hotline operator) and tell him that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has determined that Perú violated Lori's rights under the American Convention on Human Rights and is thus she is being wrongfully held in a Peruvian prison. Remind him that he is obligated under U.S. statute ( Article 22, USC Section 1732) to do everything in his power short of going to war to secure the release of an American citizen wrongfully held in a foreign country.

Action 2 - Write to President Toledo

Write to Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo at the Embassy of Perú, 1700 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036, and urge him to demonstrate Perú's commitment to human rights by complying with the ruling of the Inter-American Commission, revoking the anti-terrorism laws that were established by the corrupt dictatorship of Alberto Fujimori, and releasing Lori Berenson.

Thank you for your continued support for Lori. - Rhoda and Mark Berenson