This is the section of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission's 2002 Annual Report that details its ruling on Lori Berenson's case and its subsequent elevation to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
You can find the original text on the ICHR's site. This document basically summarizes the two sides of the case and elevates it to the Court, finding that there was sufficient jurisprudence to warrant a hearing. It should be noted that since this decision the Peruvian Constitutional Tribuanl threw out a large portion of the anti-terrorism laws as unconstitutional and opened up the possibility of retrial for many convicted under those laws, especially those before a court martial.
331. On July 19, 2002, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights submitted to the Court the petition regarding the case of Lori Helene Berenson vs. the Peruvian State (Nº 11.876). According to the Commission, that petition refers to “violations of the human rights of Ms. Lori Helene Berenson Mejía in the context of both a trial to which she was subjected under the military legal system and another trial in the ordinary criminal law system, and on account of the inhumane conditions of her imprisonment in the Yanamayo / g c i 275 penitentiary.” According to the account of the facts of the case in the Commission’s petition, Ms. Lori Helene Berenson Mejía, a citizen of the United States, was arrested in Lima, Peru on November 30, 1995 and arraigned for “treason against the fatherland (“traición a la patria”) under the military legal system. In those proceedings, according to the information received, the provisions of Decree Law Nº 25.659 were applied, under which the alleged victim was tried by “faceless judges” and subject to restrictions on her right of defense. On March 12, 1996 Ms. Lori Berenson was sentenced to life in prison on the charge of having committed treason. After Ms. Berenson filed an appeal for exceptional review of a fully executed judgment, the Supreme Council of Military Justice ruled that Ms. Lori Berenson “was not a leader of the aforementioned terrorist organization; that being so, the criminal conduct of the petitioner did not fit the hypotheses contained in the Decree Law [Nº 25659], governing treason. According to the information provided by the Commission, in its judgment of August 18, 2000 that Court annulled the final judgment (“ejecutoria suprema”) of March 12, 1996. The Commission’s account went on to say that, following this judgment, copies of the file were forwarded to the ordinary criminal law system, where a new trial against Ms. Berenson began on August 28, 2000, which ended with a judgment sentencing her, as a collaborator with terrorists under Article 4.a and b of Decree Law 25475, to 20 years in prison. That judgment was ratified by the Peruvian Supreme Court on February 13, 2002. Finally, the Commission pointed out that Ms. Berenson was held in the Yanamayo prison from January 17, 1996 to October 7, 1998, during which time, according to the Commission’s brief, she was subjected to “inhumane prison conditions.” In the Commission’s opinion, those circumstances constituted violation “to the detriment of Ms. Berenson of the rights to a fair trial, freedom from ex post facto laws, and humane treatment, enshrined in Articles 8, 9, and 5 of the American Convention, respectively, all of them in conjunction with the obligation of the Peruvian State under Article 1(1) to respect and ensure the full exercise of the rights enshrined in the Convention.” In addition, the Commission stated in its petition that “the laws used to try and convict Ms. Berenson involved a violation by the Peruvian State of its duty to adopt provisions under domestic law pursuant to Article 2 of the American Convention.”
332. The Commission requested that the Court conclude and declare that the Peruvian State is guilty of these violations and that “it has an international obligation to make reparation to Ms. Lori Berenson for violations of her human rights by the Peruvian State, in the person of its agents.” Accordingly, the Commission requested that the Court order the Peruvian State “to adopt immediately, in accordance with domestic law, all measures needed to put an end to the violation of Ms. Lori Berenson’s human rights […] and, specifically, to ensure Ms. Berenson’s freedom to exercise the human rights that were violated.” As regards material and moral prejudice, the Commission indicated in its petition that “the [alleged] victim would submit claims in accordance with Article 63 of the American Convention and Articles 23 and related articles of the Rules of Procedure of the Court.”
333. To prevent a recurrence of such cases, the Commission also asked the Court to order the State “to take the necessary steps to amend Decree Laws 25475 y 25659 in such a way as to make them compatible with the American Convention on Human Rights.” Finally, the Commission asked the Court to order the State to pay admissible domestic legal costs as well as costs incurred abroad in processing the case before the Inter-American Commission and the Inter-American Court.
334. For its part, on July 22, 2002, the Peruvian State submitted a “petition regarding Report 36/02 of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights--the Lori Berenson Mejía Case,” in which Ms. Lori Berenson Mejía was “sentenced by the ordinary legal system in Peru to 20 years in prison for collaborating with terrorists, in a judgment handed down on June 20, 2001, ratified as res judicata in a judgment by the Supreme Court on February 13, 2002. In addition, the judgment imposed a fine of S/. 100,000.00.”
335. In its brief the State requested that the Court declare: a) that the Peruvian State proceeded in accordance with the standards established in the Convention and in the legal precedents set by the Court, when it annulled the sentences imposed on Ms. Lori Berenson Mejía under military law; b) that the Peruvian State proceeded in accordance with the standards established in the Convention and in the legal precedents set by the Court, when it acknowledged that Ms. Lori Berenson Mejía should be tried by the ordinary courts; c) that there are no grounds based on the Convention or on legal precedents set by the Court to conclude, as the Inter-American Commission does in Report 36/02, that Ms. Lori Berenson Mejía’s human rights were violated during the proceedings under ordinary law; d) that the Peruvian State proceeded in accordance with the standards established in the Convention and in the legal precedents set by the Court, when, on August 31, 2000, it altered the prison conditions of Lori Berenson Mejía by transferring her from the Socabaya pentitentiary in Arequipa to the Women’s Prison in Chorillos, Lima; and e) that the Peruvian State proceeded in accordance with the standards established in the Convention and in the legal precedents set by the Court, when, on December 21, 2001, it transferred Ms. Lori Berenson Mejía, following her conviction, to the Huancariz penitentiary in Cajamarca. In its brief, the State pointed out that it “is not contesting with the Court the issue of Ms. Lori Berenson Mejía’s trial under military law for an especially grace act of terrorism (terrorismo agravado) [nor] the issue of compensation that the Commission has calculated in [Ms.] Berenson’s favor.” The State maintained that it “based its demand on Articles 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 51(1), and 61 of the Convention and Articles 26, 32, and 33 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court.” Finally, the State argued on the factual and legal grounds set forth in its brief that “as of August 24, 2000, the human rights of [Ms.] Berenson Mejía under Articles 5, 8, and 9 of the Convention have not been and are not being violated."
336. The Court reviewed the petition presented by the Inter-American Commission and the brief presented by the Peruvian State and, on September 6, 2002, issued a Decision in which it resolved: