There are several things you can do to help political prisoners in Peru. These include Lori Berenson and Baruch Ivcher, who Kavitha wrote about in her dispatches this update, Get Political, Go to Jail! and An American in the Alcatraz of Peru.
Anyone can write to the President of Peru, Alberto Fujimori, and other officials in Peru. Anyone can also write to the President of the United States, though it might be more effective if you are American. Finally, if you are American you can write to your Senator or Representative.
When you write, it is best if you think for yourself about a few of the things that you care most about. Maybe you think the conditions these people are living in are too harsh, maybe you think the judicial process was flawed, etc. You should be specific about the people you know about, especially Lori and Baruch, who Kavitha wrote about.
These are some examples of specific things you can focus on:
- Demand that the Peruvian government cease its persecution of Baruch Ivcher, dismiss all charges against him and members of his family, and return to him the properties that the Peruvian government has unlawfully confiscated.
- Demand that Peru comply with the recommendations of the UN Committee for Human Rights and international bodies by releasing all innocent prisoners immediately and providing new trials for all those who were convicted by military tribunals of treason and terrorism charges.
If you write to President Clinton, be sure to ask him to demonstrate his stated commitment to human rights and pressure Fujimori into complying with Peru's international human rights obligations.
In particular, President Clinton should bring up the situation of American journalist Lori Berenson who was convicted of "treason" by a faceless tribunal. For more information, see the UN Committee Report on Peru and the Lori Berenson webpage.
Please write or call President Clinton at
The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500
Fax 202-456-2461 (Attention: Helen, Agency Liaison 6)
Please write President Fujimori and the Minister of Justice at
Mr. Alberto Fujimori
President of Peru
Palacio de Gobierno Plaza de Armas
Dr. Alfredo Quispe
Minister of Justice
Scipion Llona 350
Tel./Fax.: 0051 - 1 - 4223577
Also, please send a copy to:
Asoc. Andina de Derechos Humanos
Andean Human Rights Association
Tel./Fax: 040 3904512
A letter is now circulating in the Senate that urges a humanitarian release for Lori. The letter is cosponsored by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (Democrat, New York) and Senator Jim Jeffords (Republican, Vermont).
You can see a copy of this letter and all of the Senators who have signed it.
Please call your Senator in Washington DC (202-224-3121) and ask the operator to be connected to your Senator's office. Tell the receptionist you are a constituent and want to speak to the Legislative Assistant dealing with foreign affairs. Tell the Legislative Assistant you would like the Senator to sign the letter being circulated by Senators Moynihan and Jeffords which seeks a humanitarian release for Lori Berenson. Tell the Legislative Assistant to contact either Margaret Sloane in Senator Moynihan's office at extension 44451 or Hillary Hoffman in Senator Jeffords' office at extension 45141 to receive more information.
Note, the material on this page was compiled by Kavitha Rao from the following websites:
Free Lori Berenson
Human Rights Watch