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    Amnesty International Denounces Increase in Arbitrary Detentions in Cuba

    Amnesty International Denounces Increase in Arbitrary Detentions in Cuba
    / 14ymedio
    Posted on February 26, 2015

    14ymedio, Havana, 24 February 2015 — Short-duration detentions increased
    considerably in Cuba in 2014, according to the annual report published
    today by Amnesty International. The human rights organization, with
    headquarters in London, emphasizes that the situation with respect to
    freedom of expression, association and assembly, infringed on by
    criminal prosecutions for political reasons, did not improve. Amnesty
    International expects, nevertheless, that the announcement of the
    re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the Island and the
    United States may help produce a significant change in the matter of
    human rights.

    The report highlights the 27% increase in short-duration detentions last
    year, according to data from the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and
    National Reconciliation, which counted almost 9,000 brief arrests. The
    Ladies in White organization suffers the most from this type of
    repression, although Amnesty International also mentions the arrests
    produced at the end of 2014 on the occasion of the Community Summit of
    Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

    The annual report, which offers an overview of the human rights
    situation in 160 countries and forecasts trends in this arena for the
    next year, addresses the issue of the control that Raul Castro’s
    government exercises over all means of communication and the
    difficulties of accessing information on the Internet. Among the
    harassments that independent journalists have suffered, the organization
    cites the case of 14ymedio, which, on the day of its launch last May 21,
    suffered an attack on its web page. Since then this digital daily has
    been blocked on the Island.

    The report dedicates a special section to prisoners of conscience and
    notes that laws that classify “dangerousness” and the likelihood of
    future offense as crimes have been used frequently to incarcerate
    citizens critical of the Government. Also, they point to the restriction
    on travel outside of Cuba imposed on the 12 prisoners of the Black
    Spring who were released without a clarification of their legal status.

    Amnesty International appreciates the immigration reform of 2013 which
    has permitted Cubans to travel abroad but points out that the government
    has confiscated materials and documents from opponents and critics on
    their return to the Island. The international organization complains
    that Cuba has not yet ratified the International Treaty of Civil and
    Human Rights or the International Treaty of Economic, Social, and
    Cultural rights, both signed in February 2008. Also, the Government has
    not responded to the petition made in October by the special rapporteur
    on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatments and
    punishments. Cuban authorities have denied Amnesty International access
    to the country since 1990.

    A “cruel” year on a regional scale

    Amnesty International stresses that 2014 was a “cruel” year in all of
    the Americas, characterized by outbreaks of protests and impunity for
    criminal networks.

    “Last year, insecurity and conflicts grew on the American continent.
    Protests exploded in several countries, among them Venezuela, Brazil,
    Mexico and the United States, often violently repressed by state forces.
    We also were witness to the tragic increase in violence by criminal
    networks that acted with total impunity,” Erika Guevara Rosas, director
    of the organization’s program for the Americas, asserts.

    “From the disappeared students in Mexico through the revelations about
    torture at the hands of CIA agents in the United States and the shooting
    of protesters by Brazilian police, 2014 was a shameful year in the whole
    region,” she adds.

    Amnesty International warns that, if significant structural changes are
    not put in place, the region will see an increase of protests and
    demonstrations, while organized crime and violence will continue
    devastating countries like Mexico, El Salvador and the English-speaking
    Caribbean.

    The organization notes as positive the peace talks between the Colombian
    government and the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) for the
    purpose of putting a definitive end to the continent’s oldest armed
    internal conflict. Nevertheless, the report stresses that at the end of
    last year both parties continued abuses and violations of human rights.

    As for Venezuela, the report insists that security organizations
    employed excessive force to disperse protests and emphasizes that dozens
    of people were detained arbitrarily and denied access to doctors and
    lawyers.

    Amnesty International nevertheless harbors a certain hope that movements
    in defense of human rights in the Americas may improve their form of
    organization thanks to the help of new technologies and social networks.

    Translated by MLK

    Source: Amnesty International Denounces Increase in Arbitrary Detentions
    in Cuba / 14ymedio | Translating Cuba –
    http://translatingcuba.com/amnesty-international-denounces-increase-in-arbitrary-detentions-in-cuba-14ymedio/

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