Alarming Repression Against The Ladies in White in Cuba

Sunday, May 3, 2015
From the European NGO, Civil Rights Defenders:

Alarming Repression Against The Ladies in White in Cuba

The repression against the Ladies in White, opposition activists and human rights defenders in Cuba, that we have seen during the last couple of weeks is alarming. The increase of violence from the authorities has come as a result from the exercise of the right to public protests and from the public exposure of the faces of political prisoners. Beatings, physical abuse and various types of torture have become routine. In only a few weeks, the numbers of arrests have skyrocketed and they now exceed several hundred.

The Forum for Rights and Freedoms and Civil Rights Defenders raise a warning regarding the deteriorating situation for human rights defenders in Cuba, and we note with great concern the indifference of the international community, especially from the US government, the EU and the Vatican, of which the latter played an active role in the talks between the Cuban government and the US administration.

The current actions by the Cuban government are a response to the silence of the international community.

In accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – of which Cuba is a signatory – the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – which the government of Raul Castro has signed but not ratified – and, as the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai has recently explained clearly in his final report; states shall ensure the full exercise of freedom of assembly, association and peaceful demonstration.

The Forum for Rights and Freedoms and Civil Rights Defenders call on the international community to act against the dangers that Cuban human rights defenders are facing. It is time for the American and European governments, usually eager to improve their relations with the Cuban government, to use their influence and speak out against the worsening violations of human rights in Cuba.

Antonio G. Rodiles, Coordinating Committee, Forum for Rights and Freedoms

Erik Jennische, Programme Director for Latin America, Civil Rights Defenders