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    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: (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)


    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"

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