Torture in Cuba
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Posted on Sat, Dec. 02, 2006

HUMAN RIGHTS
A battle for political prisoners in Cuba
BY OSWALDO PAYA

HAVANA — On Nov. 9, the Liberation Christian Movement publicly released
a proposed resolution called, ”The Need for the Government of Cuba To
Free Peaceful Political Prisoners,” which was addressed to the U.N.
Council on Human Rights.

This draft resolution, sent to most media accredited in Cuba, asks the
Cuban government to free immediately and without any conditions all the
people who — in an effort to peacefully promote human rights, without
committing or planning violent acts against people or property — have
been incarcerated for political motives. It also calls for a halt to the
harassment aimed at the citizens who promote these rights.

We have delivered said proposed resolution to the embassies of the
member countries of the Human Rights Council represented in our country
and have asked them to promote it and approve it at the council’s next
session. What we ask the member states of the Human Rights Council and
all members of the United Nations is to support “a resolution in the
interest of Cuba, because it is in the interest of the rights of all
Cubans, in the interest of justice in Cuba, in the interest of the truth
about Cuba and in the interest of reconciliation among Cubans.”

If the council approves this resolution it will be for the good of Cuba.
Doing so, the council will be asking the government of Cuba to be
consistent with the commitments assumed by the Cuban state when it
signed international instruments for the protection of human rights,
such as the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the Convention
Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment.

The Cuban government itself, when it submitted its candidacy to the
council, avowed its “willingness to continue to work indefatigably in
its pursuit of the common goal of the enjoyment of all human rights by
all persons and peoples of the world, on the basis of respect for the
United Nations Charter, the instruments internationally agreed upon on
the subject of human rights and the Declaration and Plan of Action of
Vienna. Cuba hopes that its membership in the most important specialized
organization of the United Nations, in terms of human rights, will have
a very positive impact not only for its own people but also for the rest
of the international community.”

Once again we call on all Cubans, inside and outside of Cuba, to raise
their voices in support of the release of those people who have been
forced to suffer in cruel and inhumane prisons precisely for defending
the rights of all Cubans. We hope that the members of the U.N. Human
Rights Council will honor the mission that has been conferred upon them:
to press for the promotion and protection of all human rights, which are
universal and indivisible, and to promote the observance of the
obligations of the states on the subject of human rights.

Oswaldo Payá is coordinator of the Christian Liberation Movement based
in Cuba.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/opinion/16145920.htm

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