Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Spain asked to probe death of Cuba activist Oswaldo Paya

19 August 2013 Last updated at 16:02 GMT

Spain asked to probe death of Cuba activist Oswaldo Paya

The family of a Cuban dissident who died last year have filed a
complaint in Spain alleging that he was killed by senior Cuban military

The family of Oswaldo Paya filed a case in the High Court asking for an
inquiry into the official account that he died in a car crash.

According to Cuban officials, Paya and another dissident, Harold Cepero,
died in the crash in July last year.

Paya was a prize-winning campaigner for civil rights.

His family have long dismissed the official account of his death,
alleging that the Cuban security services killed him.

"[His death] was not an isolated incident, it was the result of a
continuing process that started a long time ago," Paya's brother,
Carlos, told the Spanish news agency Efe.

The Spanish court has jurisdiction over allegations of crimes against
humanity committed abroad when Spanish citizens are involved.

Paya had Spanish and Cuban nationality and a Spanish politician, Angel
Carromero, was convicted of vehicular manslaughter for driving the car
when Paya died.

Carromero was jailed for four years in Cuba, though he has been allowed
to serve most of his sentence in Spain.

He has since denounced the Cuban account of the death, and said in an
interview with El Mundo newspaper that Paya was not killed in the crash.

Paya was known as the founder of the Varela Project, a campaign set up
in 1998 to gather signatures in support of a referendum on laws to
guarantee civil rights.

In 2002 he won the Sakharov Prize, the European Union's human rights award.

Source: "BBC News - Spain asked to probe death of Cuba activist Oswaldo
Paya" - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23756250

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