Yoani Files Case Against Castro in Regional Forum

Friday, September 28, 2012

Yoani Sanchez Files Human Rights Case Against Cuban Government

World renowned blogger takes her case to Inter-American Commission of Human Rights

Washington, D.C.Yoani Sánchez petitions precautionary measures to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (CIDH), to immediately protect and uphold her rights. Represented by international law firm Aparicio, Arp, Schamis & Associates, the case requests protection by the CIDH.

Ms. Sánchez has been the victim of harassment, coercion, curtailment of her freedom of movement, speech, and information by Cuban authorities. “She has been subjected to arbitrary detention and physical violence,” says lawyer Bjorn Arp. Ms. Sanchez’s phone conversations have been intercepted, she is prohibited from accessing public places, and her blog is censored by the government.

“Her integrity and safety are in danger,” adds lawyer and former president of the Inter-American Juridical Committee Jaime Aparicio.

These actions by the Cuban government are in violation of the Charter of the Organization of American States (April 30, 1948), and in violation of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (May 2, 1948), both documents signed and ratified by the Republic of Cuba.

Internationally acclaimed for her blog Generation Y, launched in 2007, which portrays daily life in Cuba, Sánchez has received numerous awards and distinctions, by Time magazine, CNN, Foreign Policy magazine, and El País newspaper from Spain, among others.

President Barack Obama wrote to Yoani Sánchez in November 2009: “It is telling that the Internet has provided you and other courageous Cuban bloggers with an outlet to express yourself so freely, and I applaud your collective efforts to empower fellow Cubans to express themselves through the use of technology. The government and people of the United States join all of you in looking forward to the day all Cubans can freely express themselves in public without fear and without reprisals.”

“We urge the Commission to act quickly to protect the rights, safety and life of Ms. Sánchez,” states Dr. Hector Schamis of Aparicio, Arp, Schamis & Associates.

In Yoani Sánchez’s own words: “Internet was the only possibility of expression in a country where, I know, will never give me a couple of minutes in the press... and then this has also been subject to censorship and punishment, including several detentions, kidnappings, and verbal and physical intimidation.”