Monday, August 16, 2010

Church in Cuba announces government's release of six more political prisoners

Church in Cuba announces government's release of six more political

Madrid, Spain, Aug 16, 2010 / 12:16 pm (CNA/Europa Press).- The
Archdiocese of Havana recently announced that the Cuban government will
soon release six more political prisoners, adding to the list dissidents
who have already been released following unprecedented talks between the
Catholic Church and political authorities.

The six will follow in the footsteps of the 20 political prisoners
released earlier this summer and will be sent immediately to Spain. The
government announced last June its intention to release the 52
dissidents arrested during the Black Spring of 2003.

The spokesman of the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National
Reconciliation, Elizardo Sanchez, confirmed that the six will be
released and said it could take place this week.

However, Sanchez told Europa Press that there are "between eight and
ten" prisoners who do not want to be "exiled" to Spain and that the
Cuban government is deliberately delaying their release.

"Each day in prison counts," he said, adding that Havana's intention is
to send the maximum number of prisoners possible to Spain. Those who
refuse will be kept in prison "until the last minute," Sanchez said.

Berta Soler, a spokeswoman for the Women in White—the spouses of the
political prisoners—noted that until government officials allow them to
stay in Cuba, "we cannot say that they are truly free."

"This is undoubtedly a step forward, but until they are in a (Cuba) that
is free we cannot say that they have been released," she told Europa Press.

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