Amnesty International calls Cuban Five case a human rights violation

Campaign News | Thursday, 5 June 2008

On May 28 Amnesty International issued its 2008 annual report in which a chapter referring to the human rights violations committed by the United States Government included the case of René González, Gerardo Hernández, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero, who for ten years have been serving sentences totaling four life imprisonments plus 77 years. Their case has been in appeal since 2001.

In this report Amnesty did not limit its denunciation to that of the refusal of visas to two of the wives, Olga Salanueva and Adriana Pérez, as it has done in reports since 2003, but also addressed the delay in the appeal process and the arguments presented by the defense concerning insufficient evidence and the prosecution's improper conduct, as part of its data about the US judicial system.

Since 2002 Amnesty International has repeatedly requested US authorities to concede visas to Olga and Adriana, the negation of which it labels "an unnecessary punitive measure contrary to the norms of humane treatment of prisoners and the obligation of States to protect family life."

The 2008 Amnesty report joins denunciations made by many other organizations among which are the UN Arbitrary Detention Work Group, the European Parliament, national and regional parliaments and religious organizations, such as the World Council of Churches and the Council of Churches of Christ in the United States, as well as notables from the entire world.


In August an oral hearing took place in the case of five Cuban nationals convicted in Miami in June 2001 of conspiring to act as agents of the Republic of Cuba and other charges (USA v Gerardo Hernandez et al). Grounds for the appeal included insufficient evidence and alleged improper statements by the prosecution during the trial. The appeal court's decision was pending at the end of 2007. The US government continued to refuse to grant the wives of two of the prisoners visas to visit them in prison.

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