News from Lori's Parents

24 March 1999

In this update:

Another Peruvian Fabrication Against Lori

Last Thursday and Friday Peruvian newspapers and TV reported that Peruvian officials had said that Lori had developed an "escape plan." The Peruvian government used this fabrication to significantly increase military and security forces in the Arequipa/Socabaya region. On Saturday, both the US Embassy in Lima and President Alberto Fujimori categorically denied these false reports -- it seems that the "escape plan" was knitting instructions of a cat that Lori had designed and given to Rhoda during her Christmas visit!

Meanwhile, the increased military and security forces are said to remain in the region. We leave for Perú tomorrow to visit Lori.

President Clinton criticizes lack of due process in Cuba, but not in Perú

Last week President Clinton issued a strong and proper statement regarding the four dissidents who were sentenced in Cuba. President Clinton stated: "They were tried without fair process, behind closed doors. I call on the Cuban government to release them immediately."

We remind President Clinton, as recently affirmed by the Office of the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights, that in January 1996 Lori Berenson was tried in Perú "without fair process, behind closed doors." We cannot understand why President Clinton has not called on the Peruvian government "to release [Lori] immediately."

Certainly, the President of the United States has at least as high an obligation to demand the release of a wrongfully incarcerated American citizen as he has to demand the release of wrongfully incarcerated Cuban citizens.

It is time for President Clinton to do his duty and fulfill his obligation under act of Congress 22 U.S.C. Section 1732 and effectuate Lori's release.

Call to Action -- Contact the White House

Please call the White House hot line at 202-456-1111 and convey the above message or write a letter to President Clinton, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20500. The White House Fax is 202-456-2461.

- Rhoda and Mark Berenson