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Cuba
18.11.15
Urgent Interventions

Release and subsequent re-arrest of Messrs. Zaqueo Báez Guerrero and Ismael Bonet Reñé as well as Ms. María Josefa Acón Sardiñas, and arrest of aproximately 70 members of the Ladies in White

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URGENTAPPEAL - THE OBSERVATORY


Newinformation

CUB001 / 1015 / OBS 090.1

Arbitrarydetention / Judicial harassment

Cuba

November18, 2015


TheObservatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a jointprogramme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) andthe World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgentintervention in the following situation in Cuba.


Newinformation:


TheObservatory has been informed by reliable sources about the releaseand subsequent re-arrest of members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba(UNPACU) Messrs. ZaqueoBáez Guerrero andIsmael Bonet Reñé aswell asMs.MaríaJosefa Acón Sardiñas,also member of the Ladies in White, a peaceful protest group foundedby female relatives of Cuban political prisoners.


Accordingto the information received, on November 9, 2015, Messrs. Zaqueo BáezGuerrero, Ismael Bonet Reñéand Ms.María Josefa Acón Sardiñas were released from preventivedetention. Thethree human rights defenders had been detained in Havana at theCentrode Detención Policial 100 y AldabósinceSeptember 20, 2015 (see background information). Nonetheless,they remain judicially harassed by the Cuban authorities and chargedwith “contempt”,“public disorder” and “resistance”. As of issuing this urgentappeal, no court hearing was set yet.


Accordingto the same information, on November 15, 2015, Messrs. Zaqueo BáezGuerrero, Ismael Bonet Reñéand Ms.María Josefa Acón Sardiñas were re-arrested in Havana afterparticipating in a peaceful demonstration under theslogan “We All March” (#TodosMarchamos”).


Approximately70 members of the Ladies in White were also arrested during thedemonstration including Mss. LeticiaRamos Herreria,AnniaAbascal Zamora,SisyAbascal Zamora,MercedesLópez Suárezand MarisolFernández Socorro,members from the Matanzas Province. The 5 women human rightsdefenders, who were released at late evening hours on Sunday 15 in alocation they denounced as dangerous, were threatenedby a female State Security officer who warned them that if theytravelled once more from Matanzas to Havana, they would be chargedwith contempt, disobedience, disorderly conduct and infringement(atentado).


TheObservatory condemns the re-arrest of Messrs.Zaqueo Báez Guerrero, Ismael Bonet Reñé andMs.María Josefa Acón Sardiñas,and strongly deplores the ongoing judicial harassment against them.The Observatory calls upon the Cuban authorities to immediately andunconditionally drop all charges against them as they only aim atsanctioning their human rights activities.


TheObservatory furthercondemns the arrest of approximately70 members of the Ladies in White includingMss. LeticiaRamos Herreria, Annia Abascal Zamora, Sisy Abascal Zamora, MercedesLópez Suárez and Marisol Fernández Socorro and calls on the Cubanauthorities to respect the legitimate activities of human rightsdefenders including the human right to freedom of peaceful assembly.


Backgroundinformation:


OnSeptember 20, 2015, Messrs.Zaqueo Báez Guerrero, Ismael Bonet Reñé andMs.María Josefa Acón Sardiñas,along with other activists, were arrested while trying to approachPope Francis in his car in Havana on his way to the mass he wasgiving, and dragged away by security personnel at Havana's RevolutionSquare. Their intention was apparently to raise awareness over humanrights violations and the increasing repression against Ladies inWhite, UNPACU, and other groups in Cuba.


Thesearbitrary detentions have been part of genuine wave of political andsocial repression that led to several “preventive detentions”that took place around Pope Francis' visit, as denounced by Cubanhuman rights organisations. Activists have been arrested and detainedby the authorities to prevent them from attending papal ceremonies.


Actionsrequested:


Pleasewrite to the authorities of Cuba asking them to:


i.Immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against Messrs.Zaqueo Báez Guerrero, Ismael Bonet Reñé andMs.María Josefa Acón Sardiñasas they are targeted solely for their legitimate human rightsactivities;


ii.Put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judiciallevel, against Messrs. ZaqueoBáez Guerrero, Ismael Bonet ReñéandMss. MaríaJosefa Acón Sardiñas, LeticiaRamos Herreria, Annia Abascal Zamora, Sisy Abascal Zamora, MercedesLópez Suárez, Marisol Fernández Socorro,as well as against all human rights defenders in the country;


iii.Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychologicalintegrity of Messrs. ZaqueoBáez Guerrero, Ismael Bonet ReñéandMss. MaríaJosefa Acón Sardiñas, LeticiaRamos Herreria, Annia Abascal Zamora, Sisy Abascal Zamora, MercedesLópez Suárez, Marisol Fernández Socorroas well as of all human rights defenders in Cuba;


iv.Comply with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration onHuman Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly onDecember 9, 1998, in particular with:


  • article 1, which states that "everyone has the right, individually or collectively, to promote the protection and fulfilment of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels",


  • article 6(a), which foresees that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms”;,


  • as well as article 12.2, which provides that "the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually or in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, 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";


v.Guarantee the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms inaccordance with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and otherinternational human rights instruments signed or ratified by Cuba.


Addresses:


  • Mr. Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Council of State of Cuba, La Habana, Cuba, Código Postal 10400, Fax: + 53 7 8333085 (through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), E-mail: f_castro@cuba.gov.cu

  • Dr. Darío Delgado Cura, Attorney General of the Republic of Cuba, Avenida 1ra, No. 1801 e/ 18 y 20. Reparto Miramar, municipio Playa, CP 11 300, La Habana, Cuba, Tel: +53 7 206 9090.

  • Mr. Bruno Eduardo Rodriguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Calle G, No. 360 Vedado, Plaza de la Revolución La Habana, Cuba, Fax:+ 53 7 836 4500, 8333 085, E-mail: cubaminrex@minrex.gov.cu

  • General Abelardo Colomé Ibarra, Minister of Interior, Plaza de la Revolución, La Habana, Cuba, Fax: + 53 7 855 6621 + 53 7 8301 566, Correo- E: correominint@mn.mn.co.cu

  • Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations in Geneva, 100 chemin de Valérie, 1292 Chambésy, Fax: + 41 22 758 9431 E-mail: embacubaginebra@missioncuba.ch

  • Embassy of Cuba in Brussels, 77 rue Roberts Jones, 1180 Uccle, Belgium, Fax : + 32 2 344 9661, E-mail: mision@embacuba.be


Pleasealso write to the diplomatic representations of Cuba in yourrespective countries.


***


Paris-Geneva,November 18, 2015


Kindlyinform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal inyour reply.


TheObservatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protectionof human rights defenders and aims to offer them concrete support intheir time of need.


Tocontact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

  • E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org

  • Tel and fax FIDH + 33 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

  • Tel and fax OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

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