The Human Rights Court accepted Lori’s case for review
On September 6, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in San José, Costa Rica notified the parties involved that it had admitted the review of the petition filed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in favor of Lori against the government of the Peru. In an outrage to the government of Peru, the Court refused to treat as a separate case, Peru’s counter-petition against the Commission’s recommendations in favor of Lori. Peru must now convince the Court that the Commission’s recommendation was incorrect.
Given the previous judgments of the Court in similar cases and the detailed and severe condemnation of the Commission to the judicial proceedings in the case of Lori, we hope that the government of Peru realizes the fruitlessness of a costly litigation and accepts the recommendations of the Commission now, and don’t insist that Lori have to endure years of incarceration pending the judgment of the Court.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issues a favorable report
Lori has exhausted her judicial options in Peru. In 1998 Lori petitioned the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (OAS). The Inter-American Commission is made up of a respectable group of human rights legal arbitrators from seven countries that represent the Organization of American States. Following Bush’s historic visit to Lima on March 23, 2002, the position of the United States government has been that both countries give serious consideration to the Commission’s decisions and recommendations. Lori agrees with this point of view as well as her parents.
On April 3, 2002, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights approved a report on the merits in which it concludes:
“That the Peruvian State is responsible for the violation of the right to judicial guarantees, personal integrity and the right concerning the principle of legality enshrined (…) in the American Convention to the detriment of Lori Berenson”
In July 2002, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights filed a complaint with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights against the Republic of Peru as a consequence of the human rights violations of Lori Berenson that occurred in the context of both trials. In this application, the Commission requests that the Court:
“Determine the international responsibility of the Peruvian State for the violations committed in the processes to which Mrs. Berenson was subjected both in the military jurisdiction and in the ordinary jurisdiction, as well as for the inhumane conditions of detention to which she was subjected in the prison of Yanamayo (…) to conclude and declare that the Peruvian State has an international obligation to make reparation to Lori Berenson for the violations of her human rights committed by the Peruvian State through its agents. To this end, the Peruvian State must, in accordance with the provisions of its domestic law, immediately adopt all the necessary measures to stop the violations of the human rights of Mrs. Lori Berenson specified in this application, and specifically,
Finally, the Commission requests the honorable Court to order the illustrious Peruvian State to adopt the necessary measures to reform Decree Laws 25475 and 25659 in order to make them compatible with the American Convention on Human Rights. “
Internet poll shows Peruvians willing to accept Lori’s release
In a two-day online poll conducted September 14-15 by Peru’s largest circulation daily El Comercio (which has always been mistakenly critical of Lori), participants overwhelmingly indicated that they would be willing to accept a judgment of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights requesting the release of Lori. With 31,258 people voting online, 21,037 (67.3%) would accept a decision to release Lori, 5,895 (18.9%) would not, and 4,326 (13.8%) were undecided.
Considering that this newspaper and its audience on the Internet are considered moderately conservative, wealthy, and educated, we are satisfied with these results and we believe that support for Lori in other socio-economic strata would be even higher.