OAS Rights Commission- Berenson's Human Rights Violated-
Peru Will Fight Decision In Inter-American Court
YORK - July 16 - Though the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR)
has decided in Lori Berenson's favor, justice will continue to be delayed for
the North American human rights activist and freelance journalist who has been
wrongfully incarcerated for more than six-and-a-half years. As hoped and anticipated,
the IACHR, part of the Organization of American States (OAS) has vindicated Ms.
Berenson. After thoroughly reviewing her petition and holding public hearings,
the Inter-American Commission, which is comprised of seven internationally recognized
scholars from OAS member nations, ruled that Lori Berenson is being wrongfully
held. Unfortunately, the government of Peru has decided to appeal this decision
to the OAS Inter-American Court of Human Rights and, while awaiting vindication
by this court Lori Berenson will remain in prison, possibly two more years, as
the appeal runs its course.
The decision to not comply with the ruling of the IACHR indicates that Peru is
unwilling to reform its laws ang legal system. This will surely bring further
condemnation from the international human rights community. Peru's action can
only be construed as support for the illegal statutes instituted by the now disgraced
former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori, and enforced by Vladimiro Montesinos.
For nearly seven years Lori Berenson has proclaimed her innocence. She is presently
in Huacariz prison in the northern Andean city of Cajamarca. She suffers from
the harsh effects of her years in inhumane Peruvian prisons. Peru's decision to
appeal means that the must suffer yet longer as she awaits the decision for the
Inter-American Court that will finally free her.
The Committee to Free Lori Berenson (CFLB) urges the government of Peru to demonstrate
that it is among the community of nations that supports human rights by accepting
the IAHCR ruling. We ask all who agree to write to Peruvian president Alejandro
Toledo and urge him to end Lori's cruel, illegal imprisonment now. We also ask
all to contact President Bush and remind him that he is obligated by Us statute
(Article 22/USC/section1732) to come to the rescue of a citizen wrongfully held
abroad. Lori Berenson is Wrongfully held in Peru and President Bush must do everything
in his power to bring her home.
President Alejando Toledo, Embassy of The Republic of Peru, 1700 Massachusetts
Ave,NW, Washington,DC 20036 (FAX) 202.659.8124
(Background available at www.freelori.org,
or CFLB 202.548.8480)
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