Activist free after fifteen years in Peru jail

By Jennifer Lipman, May 26, 2010

A Jewish woman is to go free after spending 15 years in a South American jail on terror charges.

A judge in Lima, Peru, granted American activist Lori Berenson, 40, early parole on grounds of good behaviour.

The New Yorker, who gave birth to a son in 2009 while behind bars, was arrested in 1995 for collaborating with the communist Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA).

Ms Berenson, the only American Peru has ever jailed on terror charges, was convicted as an accomplice of the leftist guerilla group and for her involvement in a plan to attack the Peruvian Congress.

In 2001 she was given a 20 year sentence but will now be released, although she will not be allowed to leave the country until her sentence is up.

In 2003 she married a fellow MRTA prisoner, Anibal Apari.

Ms Berenson told the court before she was released that she renounced her ties to the MRTA.

She said: "I have learned in prison that violence is not going to be changed by violence."

Last updated: 5:52pm, May 26 2010