News from Lori's Parents
21 January 1998In this update:
- Lori Petitions Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
- U.S. Congress Asks State Department to Pressure Perú
- Post-card and Letter Campaign to President Clinton
Lori Petitions Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
On Thursday January 22nd, Lori's lawyers (Ramsey Clark, Thomas Nooter, and Grimaldo Achahui) are filing a petition on her behalf with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States against the Government of Perú. The complaint seeks the immediate release, and, only if Perú presents evidence sufficient to charge her, a new and fair trial in a civil court for Lori who was convicted by Perú's illegitimate "faceless" military tribunals. The complaint also demands immediate improvements -- to meet minimal international standards -- of inhumane conditions found at Yanamayo, where Lori has been held for over two years, and other maximum security prisons in Perú.
Lori was convicted of "treason against the fatherland of Perú" and sentenced to life without parole after a secret military tribunal completely void of due process. Lori was obligated to accept her sentence read by a faceless judge while a soldier held a gun to her head.
The Inter-American Human Rights Commission has condemned the use of such military tribunals as violations of the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, the American Convention on Human Rights, and other international declarations, conventions, and laws.
We'll keep you posted!
U.S. Congress Asks State Department to Pressure Perú
In the 1998 Foreign Operations Appropriations Budget, the Statement of Managers of the Conference Report directs
"the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Administrator of the Agency for International Development to use the diplomatic and financial resources available to them to encourage the Government of Perú to take all necessary steps to ensure that United States citizens held in prisons in Perú are treated humanely and accorded timely, open and fair legal proceedings in civilian courts."
Moreover, it requests "that, no later than March 1, 1998, the Secretary of State submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations describing the Administration's efforts to achieve these ends and the response of the Government of Perú."
Recently, Congress has shown its concern by sending strong letters to Secretary Albright (now signed by 55 Senators and 176 Representatives) urging immediate action to protect Lori's rights.
We are anxious for a more aggressive and proactive effort by the Clinton administration and State Department to secure Lori's freedom after two years of wrongful incarceration.
Post-card and Letter Campaign to President Clinton
Thanks to your efforts, we have collected thousands of letters and post cards which will be delivered by members of Congress to President Clinton in late February. Please send any remaining to Mark's mailbox:
50 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010
With many thanks as always,- Rhoda and Mark Berenson