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Neue Urgent Action zu Menschenrechtsverteidigern

Amnesty Kuba  (19.11.2016, 00.00 Uhr)

UA: 261/16 Index: AMR 25/5156/2016 Cuba Date: 18 November 2016

URGENT ACTION HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS UNDER THREAT

Members of Cubalex, a Havana-based organization of human rights lawyers, have been subjected to months of harassment and intimidation by the Cuban authorities for their work.

Progressively since September, Cuban authorities have intimidated members of Cubalex (Legal Information Center), a non-government organization, not recognized by the Cuban authorities, which provides free legal and human rights advice in Havana, the capital.

On 23 September, according to its Director, Laritza Diversent, authorities searched Cubalex’s centre of operation without warrant, confiscated a number of laptops and documents, and forced at least one woman to undress. The provincial prosecutor in Havana provided notice to Cubalex that it was under a tax investigation.

According to Cubalex, since then, state prosecutors have summoned at least two members of the organization for questioning. Cubalex stated that the interviews, which reportedly lasted up to one hour and 45 minutes, were filmed, leading members to believe that the authorities were seeking information to criminalize activities of the organization. According to Cubalex, authorities have also questioned people who received advice and information from their centre.

Cubalex’s Director reported that she has been stopped and questioned a number of times at the airport during her recent trips. She believes her home, which provides a base for Cubalex’s activities, is under surveillance. One of Cubalex’s members, Julio Ferrer Tamayo, reported being strip searched and detained during the search of Cubalex on 23 September and remains in custody.

Please write immediately in English or Spanish or your own language: 

Calling on the Cuban authorities to allow members of Cubalex and all other human rights lawyers and activists to operate freely without harassment and intimidation;

Urging them to ensure that the criminal justice system or civil litigation is not misused to target or harass human rights defenders; 

Calling on them to ensure a safe and enabling environment in which it is possible to defend and promote human rights without fear of punishment, reprisal or intimidation.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 30 DECEMBER 2016 TO:

President of the Republic 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) Twitter: @RaulCastroR 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 Twitter: @FGR_Cuba Salutation: Dear Attorney General/ Señor Fiscal General

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below: Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS UNDER THREAT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

On 13 October, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression issued a press release expressing concern at retaliation actions of the Cuban state against Cubalex, an organization dedicated to defending freedom of expression. In 2015, a number of articles appeared on pro-government blogs which appeared to defame Laritza Diversent, Director of Cubalex. Cubalex members were the subject of precautionary measures issued by the IACHR in April 2015. The IACHR asked that the Cuban authorities take measures to safeguard the lives of Cubalex members and ensure their humane treatment. Human rights NGOs are currently unable to legally register in Cuba and it is customary for them to operate from the homes of their members or directors. Name: Members of Cubalex Gender m/f: all UA: 261/16 Index: AMR 25/5156/2016 Issue Date: 18 November 2016



Six facts about censorship in Cuba

Amnesty Kuba  (11.03.2016, 00.00 Uhr)

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL BLOG, 11 March 2016

Six facts about censorship in Cuba

To mark the World Day against Cyber Censorship on 12 March, here are six things you should know about free speech, the internet and online censorship in Cuba.

The re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba in December 2014 brought renewed hope for an end to the US economic embargo, which has had a dire impact on the human rights of ordinary Cubans. But while tourists flock to the island to experience its romantic, old-world charm before it “changes”, less romantic is its history of restricting freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, still shown in the authorities’ determination to stifle dissent.

1. Freedom of expression can land you in jail in Cuba.

Graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado Machado, known as “El Sexto”, found this out when he was locked up for most of 2015 for painting the names of Raúl and Fidel – the names of the Castro brothers who have been in power since 1959 – on the backs of two live pigs. He had planned to release the animals as part of an artistic performance but, before he could, he was accused of desacato (contempt) and thrown in prison for 10 months. He was never formally charged or brought before a judge.

2. The state has a virtual monopoly on print and broadcast media.

The Cuban Constitution recognizes freedom of the press but expressly prohibits private ownership of the mass media. While independent journalists and bloggers have emerged in recent years, the authorities continue to prevent journalists critical of the government from doing their jobs. On International Human Rights Day 2015, journalists at 14ymedio – established by prominent cyber activist Yoani Sanchez – were prevented from reporting on a protest coordinated by human rights groups The Ladies in White and TodosMarchamos. According to one journalist, state security agents blocked the door to the building they worked in and told him: “Today you are not going out.”

3. Cuba is one of the least connected countries in the Americas.

Until 2008, the government banned ownership of computer and DVD equipment in Cuba. Today only 25 per cent of Cubans use the internet, while only five per cent of homes are connected. Internet access is still prohibitively expensive for most, and far from accessible to all. Cuba has said it will double access in the next five years, with public Wi-Fi hot spots starting to open since March 2015, but it remains the most disconnected country in the Americas.

4. Internet access in Cuba is censored.

With access to internet so limited, online censorship is not that sophisticated in Cuba. Authorities frequently filter and intermittently block websites that are critical of the state. Limiting access to information in this way is a clear breach of the right to freedom of expression, including the right to seek, receive and impart information.

5. Communicating with Cuban human rights activists from overseas is difficult.

Amnesty International, along with many other independent international human rights monitors, including UN Special Rapporteurs, are not allowed to access Cuba. The landline, mobile and internet connections of government critics, human rights activists and journalists are often monitored or disabled. In the lead-up to Pope Benedict’s three-day visit to Cuba in September 2012, a communications blockade prevented Amnesty International and other international organizations from gathering information on a wave of detentions that were taking place. Communicating with Cuban human rights activists remains challenging, particularly at times when the authorities are arresting people based on their political opinion.

6. Cubans are savvy about how to circumvent censorship and government restrictions to internet access.

From underground Wi-Fi, to creating apps, to harnessing the power of USBs, Cubans are finding ways to share information and avoid cyber censorship. World Day against Cyber Censorship is a time to show solidarity with Cuban dissidents, activists, journalists andtheir struggle. Amnesty International has joined with AdBlock on the World Day Against Cyber Censorship to raise awareness about the crackdown on free speech across the world. AdBlock is a tool that helps web users to block unwanted ads, and on 12 March 2016 it will replace banner ads with content censors in certain countries wouldn’t want people to see.



Amnesty: Gabriel muss sich in Kuba für Menschenrechte einsetzen

Amnesty Kuba  (07.01.2016, 00.00 Uhr)

International/Kuba/Deutschland/Menschenrechte/ Amnesty: Gabriel muss sich in Kuba für Menschenrechte einsetzen

Havanna (dpa) - Die Menschenrechtsorganisation Amnesty International hat Vizekanzler Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) aufgefordert, bei seinem Kuba-Besuch auf die Einhaltung der Menschenrechte zu pochen. Die Sprecherin der Kuba-Koordinationsgruppe von Amnesty, Gabriele Stein, sagte der Deutschen Presse-Agentur, die Freilassung politisch Verfolgter Anfang 2015 sei ein erster wichtiger Schritt zur Verbesserung der Menschenrechtssituation auf Kuba gewesen.

Seinerzeit hatte Kuba auf Bitten der USA mehr als 50 Gefangene auf freien Fuß gesetzt. «Aber seitdem hat sich die Menschenrechtslage auf der Insel eher wieder verschlechtert als verbessert», erklärte Stein.

Noch immer sei es in Kuba praktisch unmöglich, friedlich Kritik an der kubanischen Regierung zu äußern. Allein im November 2015 gab es nach Amnesty-Angaben mehr als 1400 politisch motivierte Kurzzeit-Inhaftierungen, einige der Inhaftierten hätten von exzessiver Gewaltanwendung seitens der Polizei berichtet.

Bundeswirtschaftsminister Gabriel und die ihn begleitenden 60 deutschen Manager sollten neben den wirtschaftlichen Interessen deshalb dringend in Havanna einfordern, dass Kubaner ihre Menschenrechte uneingeschränkt wahrnehmen könnten, betonte die Amnesty-Expertin.

Gabriel, der bis Freitag in Havanna weilt, wollte sich dort mit Vertretern der Zivilgesellschaft treffen. Auch sollte es ein Gespräch des SPD-Chefs mit dem Erzbischof von Havanna, Kardinal Jaime Ortega, geben. Die katholische Kirche hat großen Einfluss auf der Karibikinsel und spielt bei der historischen Annäherung an die USA eine wichtige Rolle.




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