Por Los Derechos Humanos En Cuba. Project dedicated to the freedom of all Cuban political prisoners.
Cuba Must Immediately Release Prisoner of Conscience
Authorities in Cuba must immediately and unconditionally release a political activist imprisoned solely because of his political views, Amnesty International said as it adopted Iván Fernández Depestre a “Prisoner of Conscience”.
The 40 year-old political activist, was arrested on 30 July in the central province of Villa Clara as he peacefully participated in a public event to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Cuban national hero Frank País.
“Iván Fernández Depestre is being held only because he holds opinions contrary to those of the Cuban authorities. He must be released immediately and unconditionally,” said Javier Zúñiga, Special Advisor for Amnesty International.
Mr Depestre was charged with “dangerousness”, a pre-emptive measure defined as the “special proclivity of a person to commit crimes” after he was accused of “meeting with antisocial persons”. He had no access to a lawyer during his trial and was sentenced to three years in jail on 2 August. He is currently on hunger strike.
“The Cuban authorities seem to be using every trick in the book to punish those who dare to speak up about human rights. They are even using a law that punishes potential offences on account of ‘antisocial behaviour’ to imprison political dissidents, independent journalists and government critics,” said Javier Zúñiga.
“It is a sad reflection of the state of the rule of law in Cuba, when people are convicted to prison terms not for what they have done but for what they might do.”
On 4 September, local activists were arrested after they went to meet Mr Depestre at the Guamajal prison. They were later released.
Articles 78 to 84 of the Cuban Criminal Code established that those convicted of “special proclivity to commit crimes” can be sentenced to between one and four years of re-education in “specialized work or study establishments” or sent to “a work collective”.
September 11, 2013. Original Amnesty International story here.
Havana Orchestrates Mob Violence Against Dissidents
Acts of repudiation (actos de repudio) are government-coordinated demonstrations, usually carried out in front of the homes of government critics, attended by government supporters, state officials and law enforcement agencies, aimed at harassing and intimidating opponents of the government, and are often used to prevent them from travelling to take part in activities. During an act of repudiation, political opponents and human rights activists are subjected to verbal and physical abuse by groups of people chanting pro-government slogans. Police are usually present but do not intervene to stop the assaults. Such incidents frequently involve the Rapid Response Brigades (Brigadas de Respuesta Rápida), a structure set up in 1991 and composed of Communist Party volunteers whose task is to deal with any sign of “counter-revolution”. Local human rights activists and others believe these incidents are orchestrated by Cuba’s security services to intimidate any opposition.
Amnesty International: 02 August 2013
[UA: 201/13 Index: AMR 25/005/2013]
Cuban political dissidents have told Amnesty International that members of the Rapid Response Brigade throw stones at their houses during the government sponsored mobs.
“Repression of independent journalists, opposition leaders and human rights activists increased. There were reports of an average of 400 short-term arrests each month and activists travelling from the provinces to Havana were frequently detained. Prisoners of conscience continued to be sentenced on trumped-up charges or held in pre-trial detention.”
Full Report Here: Amnesty International: Cuba Annual Report 2013.
“The Cuban authorities continued to stifle freedom of expression, association and assembly, in spite of the much publicized releases of prominent dissidents. Hundreds of pro-democracy activists and dissidents suffered harassment, intimidation and arbitrary arrest….”
Full Report Here: Amnesty International Cuba 2012 Annual Report
“Further Information: Prisoner of Conscience on Hunger Strike: Calixto Ramon Martinez Arias”- “Independent journalist and prisoner of conscience Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias is on hunger strike to protest against his detention in Cuba. As a result, he has been placed in solitary confinement in a punishment cell.”
Story Continued: Amnesty International-Cuba Prisoner
“Urgent Action Prisoner of Conscience on Hunger Strike” – Amnesty International-Cuba 1
“Amnesty International Calls on Cuba to Allow ‘Ladies in White’ to Freely Commemorate Anniversary of Leader’s Death” – Amnesty International Calls on Cuba to Allow