» Human Rights

Speech Given Before the UN Human Rights Commission During its 60th Session in Geneva by Cuban Democratic Directorate Executive Board Member Jannet Rivero De Toro
By Cuban Democratic Directorate

Jannet Rivero speeks before the UN human rights commision

Jannet Rivero speeks before the UN human rights commision

"Aware of the systematic violation of the fundamentals rights of the Cuban people, Liberal International reiterates before this Commission its concern for the current situation of Cuban political prisoners and human rights activists.

It has been a year since the Cuban government carried out its massive crackdown on March 18th, 2003, and the number of political prisoners in Cuba has increased. These prisoners are made the victims of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment in prisons that do not meet the minimum rules of the United Nations for the Treatment of Prisoners and Detainees. In her report, Ms. Christine Chanet, special representative of the High Commissioner, confirms that the Cuban government refused to allow her to visit the island to carry out her mandate, which was approved in this Commission in April 2003.

In Cuba political prisoners are held in isolation cells in inhuman conditions. Doctor and prisoner of conscience Oscar Elías Biscet was transferred in October 2003 to the Kilo 8 Prison in Pinar del Río and confined to an underground cell, for 21 days on two consecutive occasions, with no room even for his few personal belongings. Independent journalist Normando Hernandez was sent to a punishment cell in November 2003 where he remained for more than 77 days while his family was unable to see him or receive any news about him. Prisoner of conscience Librado Linares was not allowed to see his family for seven months after refusing to wear the uniform of the common prisoner. Political prisoner Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia’s five-year-old daughter was the victim of a beating, along with other family members, carried out by prison officials at the Kilo 5 ½ Prison in November 2003 to prevent the family from protesting restrictions on food provisions they take to the prison every three months.

In Cuba, there are also human rights activists imprisoned since 2002 who have been arbitrarily detained and have not been submitted to a trial. These are the cases, among others, of Leonardo Bruzon Avila, who is currently on hunger strike to protest his arbitrary detainment, and blind activist Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva, who has been tortured physically and psychologically.

In Cuba, the repression of freedom of expression continues. Independent journalist Claudia Marquez was threatened in November 2003 with losing custody of her six-year-old son if she continued her journalistic work and published another edition of the magazine De Cuba, which was the reason poet Raul Rivero and journalist Ricardo Gonzalez Alfonso were each given 20-year sentences.

In Cuba, dozens of activists and their family members have been subject to repression, as is the case of Bertha Antunez, who has been attacked physically and verbally by individuals sent by State Security and whose family has received strong threats from the political police. Her brother Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez” has been imprisoned for 14 years, and her uncle Omar Pernet was sentenced last April to 25 years in prison for his ideas.

The Cuban government has not yet subscribed to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, despite recommendations from this Commission on numerous occasions to do so. Mr. President, the Cuban people have a right to their rights. We have a responsibility to break the silence before the world and to ask all countries and democratic institutions to support the Cuban people’s struggle for human rights.

Thank you."


Send by E-mail | Printable Version


About the author

Directorio Democrático Cubano Cuban Democratic Directorate


Directorio Democrático Cubano
P.O. Box 110235
Hialeah, Florida 33011
Tel. 305-220-2713

© Copyright 2006 Directorio Democrático Cubano. All rights reserved.