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    Human Rights Group Estimates At Least 71 Political Prisoners In Cuba

    Human Rights Group Estimates At Least 71 Political Prisoners In Cuba /
    EFE (14ymedio)
    Posted on June 19, 2015

    EFE (via 14ymedio), 19 June 2015 – The dissident group Cuban Commission
    for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) estimates that
    there are at least 71 people imprisoned on the Island for “political
    reasons or through politically directed procedures,” almost half the
    number documented a year ago.

    The organizations says that the total prison population in Cuba is
    between 60,000 and 70,000 people, the highest number in Latin America on
    a per capita basis, given the 11 million inhabitants of the country, and
    they suggest there may be more imprisoned on political grounds.

    The statement, signed by CCDHRN spokesperson Elizardo Sanchez,
    acknowledged that the number of prisoners of conscience in Cuba has
    decreased and is now far from the 15,000 of 50 years ago; but warns of
    the risk that these data may change.

    “The risk of increasing the number of such prisoners remains dormant
    since the regime continues to criminalize the exercise of all civil and
    political rights and other fundamental rights through an archaic Penal
    Code which, in its origins, was a mere copy, quasi-plagiarized, of that
    of the former Soviet Union,” Sanchez said.

    The organization denounces the fact that many political prisoners are in
    jail under the legal concept of pre-criminal social dangerousness, an
    “unlawful monstrosity” according to the CCDHRN, which indicates that the
    people interned “are essentially innocent” and that the actions imputed
    to them do not constitute crimes, but are based on a “simple police
    presumption.”

    This presumption by the authorities leads to “very summary trials, in
    which there is no need for proof through oral or material evidence or
    documentation of any other kind.”

    The CCDHRN also recalls the case of the eleven former prisoners of
    conscience from the Group of 75 — imprisoned during the crackdown of the
    Black Spring of 2003 – released on parole but prevented from leaving the
    country.

    They also demand the release “on humanitarian grounds” of 21 prisoners
    for “crimes against the state” carrying between 12 and 23 years in
    prison in “extreme conditions.”

    The CCDHRN is the only organization in Cuba that undertakes a counting
    of political prisoners in the country; although they admit that counting
    an exhaustive list is very difficult because the Cuban government is
    “closed and opaque” and only “a handful of senior officials know the
    exact numbers.”

    The Government of Cuba considers the dissidents
    “counter-revolutionaries” and “mercenaries.”

    Source: Human Rights Group Estimates At Least 71 Political Prisoners In
    Cuba / EFE (14ymedio) | Translating Cuba –
    http://translatingcuba.com/human-rights-group-estimates-at-least-71-political-prisoners-in-cuba-efe-14ymedio/

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