News from Lori's Parents

22 February 1999

In this update:

United Nations Human Rights Group Completes Three-Year Investigation and Calls Lori's Detention Arbitrary

After nearly three years of fact-finding, including missions to Perú and a visit with Lori in Yanamayo Prison in January 1998, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights has just published its Opinion 26/1998 which states that Lori Berenson has been deprived of liberty arbitrarily. It further opines that the Peruvian government is in violation of Articles 8, 9, and 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of Articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Perú is signatory, and that Perú must take all necessary steps to remedy this situation.

In October 1997, following a decision by the Inter-American Court of the Organization of American States ordering the Peruvian government to free a Peruvian woman charged with terrorism, then-Justice Minister Quispe publicly stated that "Perú must honor its international commitments." She was freed as the court ruled. As parents of Lori Berenson, we call upon Perú to honor its international commitments in Lori's case and abide by the United Nations opinion.

Action: Stop All Non-Humanitarian Aid to Perú

Write to Congress

In early March, Congressional committees begin debating and voting on projects and funding designated for Perú. It is imperative that Congress make any assistance to Perú contingent on justice for Lori. Please write to your Congressional Representative and to both Senators, expressing your concerns. If you prefer, a sample letter can be found on the web site. The letter could be downloaded. The address for a Senator is United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510. The address for a Congressional Representative is United States House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515.

Other News: Senator Wellstone Criticizes Perú Human Rights Record and Defends Lori

Senator Paul Wellstone, Minnesota, placed an official statement into the Congressional Record on February 4th (page S1286) on the "Human Rights Situation in Perú" and emphasized the mistreatment of Lori. (The entire text of the statement appears on the web site).

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson