News and Facts about Cuba

Activist sentenced to three years in jail after criticising Fidel Castro – Amnesty International

Cuba: Activist sentenced to three years in jail after criticising Fidel
Castro
21 March 2017, 16:58 UTC

A three year sentence against the leader of a Christian pro-democracy
movement after he criticized is a stark illustration of
ongoing restrictions to the right to free in Cuba, said
Amnesty International.

Dr. Eduardo Cardet Concepción, leader of the Christian Liberation
Movement (Movimiento Cristiano Liberación, MCL) was sentenced on Monday
20 March, his wife told Amnesty International.

He was charged with attacking an official of the state (atentado) after
he publicly criticized former Cuban leader Fidel Castro a few days after
his death. During an interview with Madrid-based radio station esRadio,
aired two days before his arrest, Cardet described the mourning in Cuba
following the death of Fidel Castro as imposed, and said: “Castro was a
very controversial man, very much hated and rejected by our people.”
His lawyer has ten days to file an appeal.

“For decades, the Cuban authorities have harassed and intimidated
members of the Christian Liberation Movement in a attempt to silence any
dissenting ideas,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at
Amnesty International.

“Despite some recent openness, we see how the Cuban authorities continue
to control free expression. It is beyond belief that people are still
routinely for criticizing a politician or for writing an
opinion on a wall – as was the case of graffiti artist Danilo ‘El Sexto’
Maldonado. Sadly, Cuban courts continue to fail to provide a rigorous
check and balance to executive powers.”

Despite some recent openness, we see how the Cuban authorities continue
to control free expression. It is beyond belief that people are still
routinely arrested for criticizing a politician or for writing an
opinion on a wall.
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International
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“There is no doubt that Dr Cardet is a of conscience, put
behind bars for speaking his mind. He must not be made to spend a second
longer in jail.”

Provisions of the Cuban Criminal Code, such as contempt of a public
official (desacato), resistance to public officials carrying out their
duties (resistencia) and public disorder (desórdenes públicos) are
frequently used to stifle free speech, assembly and association in Cuba.

The Cuban Commission for and National Reconciliation, a
Cuban-based human rights NGO not recognized by the state, documented a
monthly average of 827 politically motivated detentions in 2016.

The Christian Liberation Movement (Movimento Cristiano Liberación, MCL)
is a prominent actor in the pro-democracy movement in Cuba. According to
its website, it is a movement for peaceful and democratic change and
respect for human dignity. It was founded in 1988 by Oswaldo Payá
Sardiñas, who became a visible figure of the Cuban political opposition,
and four other activists.

Amnesty International has documented harassment and intimidation of
members of the MCL for decades. In 1991, after Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas
presented a petition calling for a national referendum relating to
constitutional reform, he had his home destroyed by over 200 people,
said to be members of a Rapid Response Brigade. After Oswaldo Payá
announced his intention to put himself forward as a candidate for deputy
to the National Assembly for the municipality of Cerro, Havana, members
of his organization were reportedly subjected to frequent questioning
and short-term detention.

Source: Cuba: Activist sentenced to three years in jail after
criticising Fidel Castro | Amnesty International –
www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/03/cuba-activist-sentenced-to-three-years-in-jail-after-criticising-fidel-castro/

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