Human Rights Observatory: Cuba made 30,000 political arrests in 5 years

Human Rights Observatory: Cuba made 30,000 political arrests in 5 years

On July 1, the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH), an NGO, testified before the United Nations (UN) about the Cuban communist regime’s conduct of more than 30,000 arbitrary arrests in the past year. past 5 years.

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Most of the arrests have targeted dissidents, journalists and those who openly oppose the Castro regime. The police will not charge a large number of these people, but they often make repeated arrests incessantly. Observers have classified many of those incidents as violent, highlighting police brutality.

This arbitrary arrest (even if the victim has not committed a crime and is not charged), and then released, allows the Castro regime to keep the official number of political prisoners low, during when restricting the freedoms of some prominent dissidents. For example, several members of the dissident group Ladies in White – including leader Berta Soler – have been regularly arrested weekly for months, but have never been charged.

OCDH presented documentary evidence of politically motivated arrests before the UN Human Rights Council this week. Cuba is a member of the Human Rights Council and will hold the seat until at least 2023, despite the Human Rights Council’s confirmation of the widespread and systematic repression of human rights by the Castro regime.

According to this NGO, from January 2015 to January 2021, the Cuban Communist Party made 30,786 arbitrary arrests. A large number of them, 16,764 arrests were aimed at women. This number partly reflects the frequency of arrests by Cuban authorities for the Ladies in White group. This activist group includes wives, sisters, mothers and daughters of political prisoners. Their only protest was to attend Catholic Mass on Sunday dressed in white, and carrying portraits of their imprisoned loved ones.

OCDH emphasized in a statement to the Human Rights Council: “The detention of women is a habit. A significant number of those arrested were members of Ladies in White, a women’s group that advocates for the liberation of all political prisoners, while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms. in Cuba.”

According to OCDH, the highest number of arbitrary arrests occurred during the presidency of President Barack Obama. During his time in office, Mr. Obama significantly weakened economic sanctions on Cuba, even encouraging the Castro regime to carry out repression.

In 2016, Obama himself and his family visited Cuba, attended a baseball game with dictator Raúl Castro and enjoyed other tourist activities. Later that year, Cuban NGOs recorded 10,000 arbitrary arrests, many of which occurred in the period immediately before Obama’s visit. White leader Berta Soler was arrested eight times in March 2016, when Mr. Obama visited the country.

Arbitrary arrests have decreased during the presidency of Donald Trump. He has bluntly canceled all concessions to the Castro regime under Obama. The Trump administration banned US cruises to Cuba, removed exploitable loopholes to the embargo, and returned Cuba to its ‘State Sponsors of Terrorism’ list.

Currently, Mr. Joe Biden has not mentioned anything about Cuba in his foreign policy, basically remaining the same as under Trump.

The NGO OCDH noted, the goal of the Cuban Communist Party is to “prevent protests that criticize the government, prevent freedom of expression and opinion, [quyền tự do] assembly, organizing groups and other fundamental rights, as well as minimizing the promotion and protection of human rights.”

Notably, the increase in arbitrary arrests on a regular basis has also not led Cuba to reduce its prolonged detention of political prisoners. Protection of Cuban Prisoners, an NGO that tracks the convictions of Cubans in connection with politically motivated charges, has confirmed that 205 political prisoners were identified over a period of time. from June 2020 to July 1, 2021. This number stood at 134 in June 2020, then steadily increased by about six new political prisoners per month. Of these people, 53 were released after serving their prison terms, and 152 are still in prison.

In addition to these 152 people, the Cuban Foundation for the Protection of Prisoners identified “11,000 other civilians who do not belong to opposition groups, of which 8,400 were sentenced to prison and 2,538 were charged with ‘pre-crime’ (pre-crime). criminal).” According to the Communist Party of Cuba, this type of crime refers to cases where individuals who have been convicted have not committed any crime, but have a potential risk of committing such offences in the future.

Minh Ngoc (According to Breitbart)

See more:

  • Trump administration lists Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism

  • Cuba has a new leader after Raul Castro announced his retirement


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