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OAS human rights court upholds conviction of American in Peru

[JURIST] Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo announced Thursday that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has upheld the conviction of Lori Berenson, an American woman who was imprisoned in Peru for terrorist collaboration with Marxist guerrillas. The court, which is affiliated with the Organization of American States, debated Berenson's appeal and 20-year sentence last week and was expected to notify her family and the Peruvian government on its decision Thursday. Berenson has spent nine years in Peruvian prisons whiled the case has been appealed twice through Peru's legal system. Berenson's attorneys claim her trial failed to meet international standards for fairness and faced hostile judges who relied upon coerced testimony and tainted evidence from her previous military trial. The appeal to the Inter-American court was her last resort after Peru's Supreme Court upheld a June 2001 conviction for terrorist collaboration in a civilian retrial. The Committee to Free Lori Berenson has more information on the case and related US actions. AP has more.

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