Dissidents from Cuba and Venezuela testified at a UN panel yesterday about being subjected to arbitrary arrest, torture and other human rights abuses, sparking shouts and accusations from delegates of both governments, who sat in the corner of a packed Geneva hall huddled with allied delegates from Syria, North Korea and other dictatorships. The second half of the event covering Cuba is available with English translation above. Below are some quotes from the speakers on that panel and the intervention by the U.S. Ambassador from the audience. Finally a statement from NGOs on the situation of Jorge Luis García Pérez Antúnez and Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera.
Ángel Francisco Carromero Barrios- Spanish politician, driver of the car in deadly accident of Cuban democracy leader Oswaldo Payá:
"We ask the Council to condemn the arbitrary arrest of Jorge Luis García Pérez."Regis Iglesias, Cuban poet, arrested with 74 other dissidents during the notorious 2003 Black Spring crackdown, Amnesty International prisoner of conscience. Exiled to Spain in 2010, he is spokesman for the Christian Liberation Movement:
"The main road has huge holes, but the Cuban government said we were going 160km per hour, which is impossible."
"The accident took place two years ago and the family hasn't had any access to the autopsy; I'm asking you to have common sense."
"Cuba's socialist system is an oppressive system."
"Listen to the victims of oppression; we've been governed for the last 50 years by the same family."
QUOTES FROM U.S. AMBASSADOR KEITH HARPER
“Venezuela cannot solve its problems by criminalizing dissent.”
“Venezuela infringes upon fundamental freedoms, using violence against protesters and journalists, restricting the media and Internet.”
“We call for the release of Alan Gross, detained since 2009 for merely facilitating access to the Internet Cuba.”
“We reiterate our call for an independent international investigation into the death of Oswaldo Payá.”
"We have a simple question: What is Cuba afraid of?"
Tweet: "Cuba [is] trying to stifle dissent at the UN, just as it does at home.
|NGO Statement for Jorge Luis Garcia Perez "Antúnez" and
Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, read out at UNHRC press conference in
Geneva, 18 June 2014|
On June 11, 2014, Cuban authorities arbitrarily detained and assaulted Jorge Luis Garcia Perez "Antúnez" and Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera. Government agents twice choked Antúnez into unconsciousness, reviving him with injections of an unknown substance.
They were released on Friday, June 13, only to be again arbitrarily arrested and detained on Sunday evening, June 15. The two human rights defenders are currently being threatened with a political trial and lengthy prison terms.
Reports from other activists indicate that officials have been subjecting Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera to beatings during her ongoing detention.
We call upon UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay, EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to demand that Cuba comply with its obligations under international law, and with its obligations as an elected member of the UN Human Rights Councik, to immediately release both pro-democracy activists, and to cease and desist from any further acts of violence against them.
Directorio Democratico Cubano