News from Cuban Prisoners Defenders, August 26, 2019:
AS A RESULT OF THE WORK OF CPD AND AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
- The August 26, 2019 list of Cuban Prisoners Defenders throws 126 political prisoners in opposition to the regime, 71 of which they classify as Convicts of Conscience by the international community standards.
- Amnesty International has studied together with CPD the cases of a sample of 5 of these prisoners from the category of Conscience Convicts from CPD. All of them have been named prisoners of conscience today by AI.
- They are JOSIEL GUÍA PILOTO (PRC), SILVERIO PORTAL CONTRERAS, MITZAEL DÍAZ PASEIRO (FNRC-OZT), ELIÉCER BANDERA BARRERAS (UNPACU), EDILBERTO RONAL ARZUAGA ALCALÁ (UNPACU), whose reports are attached in the links of each one.
- Link to Amnesty International report: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/AMR2509362019ENGLISH.pdf
1. Joint CPD work with Amnesty International
The joint work between Amnesty International and Cuban Prisoners Defenders, which began in December 2018, gives its first result this August, 2019, with the appointment of 5 Prisoners of Conscience in Cuba, as a mere sample of another 71. Amnesty International, in its public statement, it indicates the process, and clearly implies that the sample analysed, 5 of the total of 71 CPD Conscience Convicts, is just a sample that indicates that in Cuba there are, therefore, dozens of prisoners of conscience.
The process began by working on the procedures and with the transmission of numerous information among the organizations, which has led to the sharing of certain analysis criteria that lead to the taking of a sample of the list of Prisoners Defenders, which Amnesty after A long study now declares Prisoners of Conscience. CPD carried out the preliminary studies and collected the official documents and the analysis of the causes. Among the reports delivered to Amnesty International, this organization verified 5 of them with its own sources and procedures, having this work, therefore, a double check of both organizations.
2. The complete list of CPD
The current list of Prisoners Defenders has 126 prisoners for political reasons, in which three groups of prisoners are distinguished:
Convicts of Conscience
71 Convicts of Conscience, who are prisoners deprived of liberty solely for reasons of conscience, with accusations either completely and proven false or fabricated, or of a non-criminal nature and absolutely of thought. These are the prisoners who meet the criteria that Amnesty International interprets as necessary to be called Prisoners of Conscience. Due to resource limitations, a sample of 5 prisoners has been studied: Josiel Guía Piloto (PRC), Silverio Portal Contreras, Mitzael Díaz Paseiro (FNRC-OZT), Eliécer Bandera Barreras (UNPACU) and Edilberto Ronal Arzuaga Alcalá (UNPACU). All of them have now been formally declared Prisoners of Conscience. In the case of Edilberto, today it has been known that, for his strong peaceful activism in prison, he has been imposed a new additional sanction, while already in prison, of another 15 months deprivation of liberty for false crimes of resistance and contempt.
Condemned of Conscience
25 Condemned of Conscience, who are convicted that suffer forced domestic work, measures of limitation of freedom or probation under threats, and that the regime, in addition, is used to revoke and reinsert in prison if the activist does not cease in his pro-democratic activity. Those convicted of conscience are an essential part of the list, since the regime for years have removed people from public political lists. Activists who, under heavy threats, were allowed to serve their sentences at home. However, at the slightest gesture of activism of these activists, they were frequently sent to prison again so, not having these people monitored, allowed a floating variable of prisoners with whom the regime played to manipulate the number of convicted for political reasons in dissenting organizations.
Additional political prisoners
30 additional political prisoners, not included in the previous categories. In many cases these prisoners have some type of criminal offense of lesser entity, but for their political activism, after their persecution for years, they are condemned with sentences of more than 20 years in prison and even, on numerous occasions, life imprisonment. They are at all points imprisoned for political motivations and the cruelty of the regime with them would make their absence from the global list a completely illogical action.
The complete list can be obtained in this link:
3. International validation of the list of Prisoners Defenders
Prisoners Defenders thus gains the trust of one of the most prestigious human rights institutions worldwide. Already at the beginning of the year numerous diplomatic delegations from most of the countries of the European Union, most of those present with diplomatic representation in Cuba, indicated that the CPD list would be thereafter the reference of their lists of political prisoners in Cuba. Since then, the list has not diminished and, in parallel, CPD has already achieved, among others, the release by diplomatic efforts of Humberto Rico Quiala or Hugo Damián Prieto Blanco.
Other achievements obtained by the work of CPD are the declaration of 4 prisoners (Edilberto Ronal Arzuaga Alcalá, Iván Amaro Hidalgo, Jesús Alfredo Pérez Rivas and Josiel Guía Piloto) with Favorable Resolution of Precautionary Measures of International Protection at the request of CPD in the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, or the formal initiation of petition procedures of the IACHR in favor of Jesús Alfredo Pérez Rivas, Iván Amaro Hidalgo or Edilberto Ronal Arzuaga Alcalá.
The United Nations Arbitrary Detention Working Group has also worked and demanded explanations from the government of Cuba in 3 other cases at the request of CPD, report whose result will be published in the following days with UN’s corresponding opinion.
CPD, therefore, is achieving one of its primary objectives: to monitor the political prisoners of human rights organizations in Cuba and obtain favorable opinions in numerous institutions, which shows that repression in Cuba remains cruel and inhuman, arbitrary, institutionalized and it is given with degrees of barbarism that Cuba has already put into practice in another country of the Latin American continent, Venezuela, and that it is deploying with all its force in Nicaragua.
The legal team of Prisoners Defenders, its presence in Cuba, the United States and Spain, and a work in collaboration with all human rights organizations present on the island, has allowed the real situation of political prisoners to be clarified and exposed in an objective manner, which with the arrival of Miguel Díaz-Canel, far from having declined, has increased greatly compared to the moment when 53 of them were released under the demands of Barak Obama for the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba.
The current list contains 50 prisoners and convicts of conscience of UNPACU, an organization on whose activists are more than 50% of those condemned and convicted of conscience of human rights organizations in the island. Other organizations that show more than 5 prisoners on that list are the different factions of the Ladies in White, the FNRC-OZT, the Pedro Luis Boitel Democracy Party and the Pedro Luis Boitel Pro-Democratic Movement.
About Cuban Prisoners Defenders
Cuban Prisoners Defenders is an independent group of analysis, study and action, with the collaboration of all dissident groups on the island and the families of political prisoners to gather information and promote the freedom of all political prisoners, as well as to maintain the updated weekly lists of Convicted of Conscience, Condemned of Conscience,, Political Prisoners and Long-lasting political prisoners imprisoned. Cuban Prisoners Defenders is part of the Prisoners Defenders International Network, a legally registered association based in Madrid, Spain, and whose Internet address is www.prisonersdefenders.org.
The group from Cuba is coordinated by Iván Hernández Carrillo (ASIC), Adolfo Fernández Sainz (FNCA) and Javier Larrondo (UNPACU), without these organizations controlling to any degree, allowing a dedicated work to all political prisoners without distinctions and equally. In Madrid’s office, the legal reports have the contribution of another one of the founders of Cuban Prisoners Defenders, the international criminal lawyer Mr. Sebastián Rivero, who, among other experiences, has been a collaborating jurist of the Permanent Ambassador of Spain at the United Nations. The organization also has different patrons from all ideologies, among others several deputies of the National Congress of Spain of different parties, as well as D. Blas Jesús Imbroda, president of the International Criminal Bar (ICB, elected in 2017) and Dean of the Bar Association of Melilla, Spain.
The works of Cuban Prisoners Defenders are adopted by numerous institutions and are sent, among others, to CANF, UNPACU, ASIC, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Organization of American States, European Parliament, Congress and Senate of the United States, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, People In Need, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the UN for Latin America and the Caribbean, Real Instituto Elcano, Fundación Transición Española, International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights, FANTU, Party for Democracy Pedro Luis Boitel, Independent Pedagogues College of Cuba, Freedom House, Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL), FAES, Ladies in White y Citizen Movement Reflection and Reconciliation, among many other institutions and organizations.
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