Thursday, March 15, 2018

Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero were murdered on July 22, 2012 and Rosa María Payá is in Havana seeking justice for them

"...[W]hile others remain silent we will not be silenced, and we will not stop seeking the truth even if it means remaining alone." - Rosa María Payá, August 1, 2012 

Every time Rosa María Payá returns to Cuba I find it difficult to sleep and worry about her safety, and admire her courage. Yesterday she was told to report to the Ministry of Justice to receive a response to the appeal she introduced last November concerning the murder of her dad Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas. In the tweet below Rosa stated, "Judith, Director of Criminal Matters @ the Ministry of Justice (she refused to give me her last name), cited me today to return tomorrow to MinJus to receive a response to the claim I filed last November, about the murder of my dad Oswaldo Payá in Cuba on 7/22/2012."

In a second tweet yesterday, the daughter of the martyred Cuban opposition leader reported, "I have an appointment tomorrow, Thursday 10:00am, with Dr. Jorge Bodes of Criminal Matters, Cuban Ministry of Justice to respond to my claim for review of the sentence, for the farce of a trial carried out for murder of my dad Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero. Be attentive please."

This morning she went to the Ministry of Justice and described the scene that she observed upon arrival. "Great presence of agents of the political police while I now enter the Ministry of Justice to receive a response for the review of sentence in the case of the murder of my dad Oswaldo Payá in Cuba, on Sunday, July 22, 2012 in a state attack."

She exited the Ministry of Justice and delivered the difficult but not surprising news that the "Department of Criminal Matters of the Ministry of Justice becomes an accomplice of my father's assassins refusing to review the sentence to analyze the forensic evidence of the car of the accused that was not presented at trial," and ended with the hashtag #EnoughOfImpunity.

She explained over another tweet how, "Jorge Bodes, Head of the Department of Criminal Matters of the Ministry of Justice, denies that its necessary to review expert evidence because he didn't see in photos that the car "was impacted by another vehicle." She posts it with a photo of the car that shows it was hit from behind by another vehicle. She concludes that " [Bodes] becomes an accomplice who hides evidence."

The Payá family has refused to be silent and continues in their efforts for justice for Oswaldo. They have remained true to their commitment made on August 1, 2012 when Rosa María Payá Acevedo read a statement that sadly remains relevant today.
My father faced the power of a state, a totalitarian state with 53 years experience. And that state is dropping all its force against a family, my family for many years now. Once more I fear for the lives of my brothers, my mother and my whole family. I reiterate that I hold the government responsible for the physical integrity of the members of my family.

We have the support of many within and outside Cuba, we thank you deeply. On the other hand, we know that these events have become a matter of state and we know that sometimes between states there are pacts and silence, but while others remain silent we will not be silenced, and we will not stop seeking the truth even if it means remaining alone.
Six long years will have passed this upcoming July 22, 2018 and the silent complicity of many of the governments in the world is deafening, and further proof of the international decline in human rights standards, but the steadfast effort by friends and family of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, and Harold Cepero Escalante continue to demand justice for their loved ones murdered on July 22, 2012.

Last year Rosa and a network of Latin American youth organized the first edition of the Oswaldo Payá Prize and held the award ceremony in Havana, but the Castro regime engaged in a crackdown and refused entry to Latin American world leaders.

This year the cycle of repression was repeated with new Latin American leaders denied entry to participate in the Oswaldo Payá Prize. Last year Rosa María Payá placed a plaque on the wall of her home in remembrance of her dad. It was quickly torn down by regime agents. This year she placed the plaque behind iron bars on the window of her home.

It is also important to recall that Dr. Eduardo Cardet, the man who was elected to succeed Oswaldo Payá as the national coordinator of the Christian Liberation Movement has been falsely imprisoned since November 30, 2016 and will serve out a three year sentence as a prisoner of conscience. However he has been brutally assaulted by state security and by inmates, most likely also on the orders of prison officials.

People of good conscience must accompany the Payá, the Cepero, and Cardet families in their struggle for justice and freedom.  We must show them our solidarity.

No comments:

Post a Comment