Italian Foreign Minister on the Miami Five

Campaign News | Friday, 24 October 2003

Expresses EU concern

In a significant development in the campaign, the Italian Foreign Minister has expressed European Union concern about the situation of the Miami Five in the United States

Strasbourg, October 24 (RHC) - Franco Frattini, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, whose country currently holds the presidency of the European Union, stated in Strasbourg that the EU shares the concern expressed by human rights organizations about the situation of the five Cuban political prisoners detained in the United States.

“The European Union is keeping up to date with the legal process and incarceration of five Cuban citizens and is conscious of the concern of several human rights associations about the conditions in which they are being kept,” stated the European Parliamentary Minister. Frattini said that this was the first time that the European Council had debated and analysed their situation.

Frattini’s declarations produced a number of questions from European deputies Pedro Marset Campos, (Spain), Konstantinos Alyssandrakis and Ioannis Patakis (Greece) and Ilda Figueiredo (Portugal).

Spanish Deputy Marset Campos, who met in Brussels earlier this month with Adriana Peréz (wife of Gerardo Hernandez, one of the five who is serving a prison sentence of double life plus fifteen years), remarked that the U.S. government is holding Cuban citizens Gerardo Hernández, René González, Fernando González, Tony Guerrero and Ramón Labañino, prisoners after a trial lacking even the minimal guarantees of due process.

Marset Campos reminded the deputies present that the men were residing in Florida and fighting against the terrorism of anti-Cuban groups carried out from Miami. He stated that “a grave violation has been committed against the Convention on Human Rights by subjecting these persons to severe and inhumane conditions of isolation, ill-treatment and non-communication.”

Greek Deputies Alyssandrakis and Patakis criticised the presidency of the EU for not investigating the case earlier.

Meanwhile, Ilda Figueiredo from Portugal said that she had spoken to the mother of one of the political prisoners and the wife of another who have not been allowed to visit their family members in prison. She underlined that this denial of visits is against the Convention on Human Rights and criticised the double standards practised by the European Union when dealing with subjects concerning the United States.

From Irish Free the Five Campaign

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