Amnesty International launch worldwide campaign for the Five
Campaign News | Thursday, 2 October 2008
Amnesty International have launched the first stage in their public campaign for visiting rights for Olga Salanueva and Adriana Pérez, two Cuban nationals whose husbands are serving prison sentences in the USA.
The appeal will be sent out in the October edition of Wire magazine that reaches up to 2.2 million Amnesty members worldwide via more than 100 national chapters.
The women’s husbands, René González and Gerardo Hernández, are two of five men known as the ‘Miami Five’, who have been imprisoned in the USA since
In an unfair trial they were found guilty of “acting as unregistered agents of a foreign government” and related charges.
In reality, they were monitoring extreme right wing paramilitary groups operating out of Florida who are responsible for launching terrorist attacks against Cuba.
REFUSAL OF VISAS
The US government has repeatedly refused to grant visas to Olga and Adriana stating that both women were involved with terrorism, espionage and a threat to US national security.
However, Amnesty make it clear that “neither has faced charges in connection with such claims”.
The Amnesty campaign states:
“Amnesty International believes that denying prisoners visits from their family is, unnecessarily punitive and contrary to standards for humane treatment of prisoners and states’ obligations to protect family life.”
It goes on to say:
“by denying temporary visas for visitation purposes, the USA is imposing unnecessary punishment on the prisoners beyond the constraints of their imprisonment, in contravention of international human rights standards.”
Rob Miller, Director Cuba Solidarity Campaign said
“We are absolutely delighted that Amnesty International have taken this action. Both Olga and Adriana will be in the UK next week to attend a major London conference and protest vigil outside the US Embassy. Now that millions of people across the world are finding out about this injustice, we hope that the US administration will start to see reason and grant these women the chance to see their husbands as soon as possible”
Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite the Union said:
“This case represents a travesty of justice by the US government who are using the Miami Five to make a political point against Cuba. To deny the families the right to visit their loved ones is totally inhumane.”
1. Amnesty urge people to write urgently to the US government to promptly grant visas to Olga Salanueva and Adriana Pérez so that they may visit their husbands.
Write to:Stephen McFarland
Head, Office of Cuban Affairs
US Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington DC 20520
Fax: +1 202-736-4476
2. Olga Salanueva and Adriana Pérez, will be in the UK next week to join with celebrities and members of the public at a candlelit vigil outside the US Embassy on Tuesday 7 October, 6-7.30pm to appeal to the US Government for the right to visit their husbands.
- Read more about the case and attend the US Embassy vigil on 7 October
- Watch the short film about the Five and their families campaign for visiting rights
- Read more from Amnesty International on the case