Cuba
09.08.00
Urgent Interventions

Cuba: Detentions / Presumed abduction / Threats /Pursuit

URGENT APPEAL -THE OBSERVATORY

CUB 001 / 0008 / OBS 082
Detentions / Presumed abduction / Threats /Pursuit
CUBA
9th August 2000

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the FIDH and the OMCT, requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Cuba.

Brief description of the situation

The Observatory expresses its grave concern for the safety and personal freedom of independent trade union activists in Cuba, and particularly Sras Gladys Linares Blanco and Maybel Padilla Pérez, and Sres Carmelo Díaz Fernández, Humberto Mones, Luis López Torres, Ramón Mederos and Pedro Pablo Alvarez Ramos, Lázaro Cuesta Collazo, members of the Consejo Unitario de Trabajadores Cubanos (CUTC), and Sr. Oscar Espinosa Chepe, Adviser of the Cuban Institute of Independent Trade Union Studies (ICESI).

Reports received from the Latin American Commission on Human Rights and liberties of workers and peoples - CLADHELT- show that since August 4th 2000, a repressive wave has been set loose on the independent tradeunionists of the Consejo Unitario de Trabajadores Cubanos (CUTC), an organization affiliated to the Central Latinoamericana de Trabajadores (CLAT).

According to the reports, Carmelo Diaz Fernandez, Gladys Linares Blanco, Lazaro Cuesta Collazo, Maybel Padilla Pérez and Oscar Espinosa Chepe, Adviser to the Instituto Cubano de Estudios Sindicales Independientes (ICESI), were visited in their homes by agents of the State Security Services, led by an officer calling himself "Ulysses" who warned them that if they held the meetings of the CUTC Congress they would be accused of contempt. Soon after this "visit" the security services detained Carmelo Díaz Fernández, Gladys Linares Blanco, Humberto Mones, Luis López Torres and Ramón Mederos.

Moreover, in the morning hours of August 7th agents of the Security Department also detained Sr. Pedro Pablo Alvarez Ramos, Secretary- General of the CUTC, who was taken away in a red Lada, with plates no. HM-07280. Yesterday, August 8th, his whereabouts were still unknown which leads one to consider this as a case of abduction, his family having visited all the police and detention centres without finding him.

The Observatory shares the concern of the CLADHELT at the attitude of the authorities which persist in refusing the exercise of fundamental rights and liberties, including the freedom of peaceful public assembly.

The Observatory notes that such acts, as also the refusal to recognize the Consejo Unitario de Trabajadores Cubanos (CUTC) and other organizations for the defence of fundamental rights and liberties, are a breach of the provisions of domestic laws, international instruments ratified by Cuba and the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9th 1998.

Action requested

Write to the Cuban authorities urging them to:

i. carry out a rapid and thorough investigation into the detention or the presumed abduction of Sr. Pedro Pablo Alvarez Ramos, in order to determine his whereabouts, guarantee the respect of his physical integrity in all circumstances and ensure his immediate release in view of the illegal or arbitrary nature of his detention.

ii. guarantee also the respect of the physical and psychological integrity of the remaining persons who are under threat and order their immediate and unconditional release.

iii. put an end to the practice of detention, threats or other forms of persecution against persons, associations or organizations by reason of the legitimate, peaceful and public exercise of fundamental rights and liberties, including the freedom of association, of assembly and public and peaceful demonstration.

iv. adopt appropriate measures to ensure the application of the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the General Assembly of the UN on December 9th 1998, in particular concerning the right of everyone..."individually and in association with others to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels." (Art.1) as well as the duty of States to guarantee "the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others against any violence, retaliation, threats, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration. (Art.12. 2)

v. in general act in accordance with the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international instruments ratified by Cuba.

Addresses:

Dr. Fidel Castro Ruz , Presidente del Consejo de Estado, Palacio de la Revolución - La Habana – Cuba. Email: f_castro@cuba.gov.cu

Dr. Felipe Pérez Roque, Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores, Calzada N° 360 - Vedado - La Habana, Cuba. Fax: (+ 537) 333085 // (+ 537) 335261

Dr. Salvador Valdés, Ministro del Trabajo y de Asistencia Social, Calle 23 y P. - Vedado - La Habana - Cuba

Dr. Carlos Amat, Ministro de Justicia, Ministerio de Justicia, La Habana, Cuba. Fax: (+ 537) 511122

Ricardo Alarcón, Presidente de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, La Habana, Cuba. Fax: (+ 537) 333085 // (+ 537) 241087

Dr Juan Escalona Reguera, Fiscal General de la República, Fiscalía General de la República, San Rafael 3, La Habana, Cuba. Télex: 511456 fisge Fax: (+ 53 7) 570795


Geneva - Paris, 9th August 2000.

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code number of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a joint FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.

To contact the Observatory, call the Emergency line : Fax : 33 (0) 1 55 80 83 92
Tel FIDH 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39
E.Mail : observatoire@iprolink.ch
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