Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Threats and assault on activists

Document - Cuba: Threats and assault on activists

UA: 343/12 Index: AMR 25/029/2012 Cuba Date: 30 November 2012



The Cuban authorities have threatened one of the country's leading human
rights defenders because of his human rights work, and a prominent
government critic has been assaulted on the street, apparently by state
security personnel.

State security officials threatened Elizardo Sánchez, president of the
Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation (Comisión
Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional – CCDHRN) in front
of his home in the afternoon of 27 November. He had been returning from
a meeting with the civil society platform group Cuban Democratic
Alliance (Alianza Democrática Cubana – ALDECU). Two men in civilian
clothes called out to him 100 metres from his home, which doubles as the
CCDHRN headquarters, in the Havana municipality of Playa.,He realised he
had seen one of the men in security operations against peaceful
protestors. He asked the men to identify themselves. One of them showed
his identification from the Department of State Security (Departamento
de Seguridad del Estado) but obscured his name. Elizardo Sánchez
continued on his way and the men followed closely behind, telling him
that he was a mercenary in the pay of Washington and that he would face
"drastic measures" (medidas drásticas) if he continued his human rights
work. Elizardo Sánchez has told Amnesty International that neither he
nor other CCDHRN members have been threatened like this for the last 20

Independent journalist Guillermo Fariñas also attended the ALDECU
meeting earlier that afternoon. At 8.30pm he was stopped on the street
in the Havana neighbourhood of Vedado by two men in civilian clothes.
One of them hit him on the right forearm with a piece of wood and called
him a "mercenary" and a "counter-revolutionary". They then got into a
car driven by a third person, of the type used by state security
personnel. These incidents represent a worrying new development in
government repression of peaceful activists.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

Calling on the Cuban authorities to investigate immediately the threats
against Elizardo Sánchez and the assault on Guillermo Fariñas;

Calling on them to cease immediately the harassment of the two men and
all other citizens who peacefully exercise their rights to freedom of
expression and association.


Head of State and Government

Raúl Castro Ruz

Presidente de la República de Cuba

La Habana, Cuba

Fax: +41 22 758 9431 (Cuba office in Geneva); +1 212 779 1697 (via Cuban
Mission to UN)

Email: cuba@un.int (c/o Cuban Mission to UN)

Salutation: Your Excellency

Attorney General

Dr. Darío Delgado Cura

Fiscal General de la República, Fiscalía General de la República,
Amistad 552, e/Monte y Estrella, Centro Habana,

La Habana, Cuba

Salutation: Dear Attorney General

And copies to:

Interior Minister

General Abelardo Coloma Ibarra

Ministro del Interior y Prisiones

Ministerio del Interior, Plaza de la Revolución, La Habana, Cuba

Fax: +1 212 779 1697 (via Cuban Mission to UN)

Email: correominint@mn.mn.co.cu

Salutation: Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above


ADditional Information

The Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation was
founded by Elizardo Sánchez in 1987.The authorities have denied it legal
status, as they do to all organizations deemed to be critical of the
government. Elizardo Sánchez spent eight-and-a-half years in prison
between 1980 and 1992 in connection with his human rights work. Amnesty
International declared him a prisoner of conscience.

Guillermo Fariñas is an independent journalist who has been involved in
a peaceful campaign for freedom of expression in Cuba. At the end of
2009 he started a hunger strike that lasted four months calling for the
release of prisoners of conscience.

The Cuban Democratic Alliance (ALDECU) is a civil society platform,
defined as "pluralistic analysis group" (grupo plural de análisis). Its
members meet once a month to discuss socio-political and economic issues
in Cuba.

The ALDECU meeting on 27 November was also attended by Antonio Rodiles,
national coordinator of Citizen Demand for Another Cuba (Demanda
Ciudadana Por Otra Cuba), an initiative calling for Cuba to ratify the
International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights. He had just been released from 19 days in
police custody. On his release, charges of "resisting authority" against
him were dropped but he was warned against continuing his activism.

Name: Elizardo Sánchez, Guillermo Fariñas

Gender m/f: both m

UA: 343/12 Index: AMR 25/029/2012 Issue Date: 30 November 2012"


No comments:

Post a Comment