News from Lori's Parents

16 January 2003

In this update:

Call to action: Telephone and letter writing campaign

Based on recent events in Perú, it is time for us to once again urge Lori's release. Perú's refusal to end the antiterrorism laws under which Lori was tried shows disregard for the Inter-American Commission's ruling in Lori's case, ignores international standards of due process and fairness, and leaves hundreds of people wrongfully imprisoned. We must now call upon government officials to press for her release. The United States government should express its outrage that a citizen continues to be so wrongfully treated by its Peruvian ally.

We've posted new "Talking points" for telephone calls or letters. We also have new sample letters to President Bush, Secretary of State Powell, or to your senators and representatives. Please feel free to use the sample letters directly or to create your own based on the "talking points."

Talking Points

Please use these talking points when contacting government officials.

  1. Lori Berenson, a U.S. citizen, has been wrongfully imprisoned for over seven years in violation of international law and, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in violation of her human rights. She has been held under inhumane conditions and her health suffers because of this.
  2. In April 2002, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights unanimously ruled that Lori Berenson's civilian trial was lacking in fairness and due process and that Perú failed to substantiate proof of guilt. The Commission declared Perú must totally restore Lori's rights and compensate her for economic, moral, and psychological damages and that Perú must completely overhaul the illegal anti-terrorism laws under which Lori was twice tried. Perú has refused to do any of this.
  3. In January 2003, Perú's Constitutional Court struck down the law regarding secret military trials for civilians. Perú gives the impression its laws are now in line with international standards. This is false. Until Perú strikes down the laws under which Lori had her civilian trial its laws will not be in line with international standards.
  4. Perú must be told it cannot continue to avoid complying with its international legal obligations at the expense of a wrongfully held U.S. citizen.
  5. Perú wants a special bilateral trade treaty. I urge you to make it clear to the Peruvian government that, until there is resolution of Lori Berenson' s case, it cannot expect to continue enjoying friendly bilateral relations.
  6. I would appreciate hearing from you on this matter.

Lori's lawyer's letter in New York Times points to Perú's judicial flaws

On January 10, The New York Times published a letter to the editor by Thomas H. Nooter, one of Lori's lawyers, on the deficiencies of Perú's recent legal actions and why, despite its rhetoric to the contrary, Perú is not in compliance with its international legal obligations.

Article on Lori appears on Digital Freedom Network

On January 10, the Digital Freedom Network (DFN) published an article about Lori and the effects of the recent judicial rulings in Perú. The full text of the article is posted here or can be accessed from the DFN Website

Many thanks for your continued help! - Rhoda and Mark Berenson