Vigil outside US Embassy for the Five

Campaign News | Monday, 10 March 2008

A high level delegation will hand in a petition to the US Embassy today calling for visitation rights for wives of five Cuban nationals, imprisoned for ten years in the US for defending their country against terrorist attacks.

The petition, with over 10,000 names, including MPs, nine Nobel Laureates, and personalities from the worlds of media, law and arts is also asking for justice for the men. Two of the wives of the Five, Olga Salanueva and Adriana Pérez have been denied visas to visit their husbands since their trial.

The women's husbands, René González and Gerardo Hernández, are two of five men known as the 'Miami Five', who following an unfair trial were found guilty of "acting as unregistered agents of a foreign government" and related charges. They were monitoring extreme right wing paramilitary groups operating out of Florida who are responsible for launching terrorist attacks against Cuba.

The protest follows an announcement last week by Amnesty International that the human rights group will launch a world-wide campaign for visiting rights for the wives describing their treatment "unnecessarily punitive and contrary to standards for humane treatment of prisoners and states' obligations to protect family life."

The delegation handing in the petition includes: Tony Woodley, joint general secretary, Unite the UK's largest union; Gerry Fernandez, international director, United Steel Workers, USA; Father Geoff Bottoms, Catholic priest and campaigner on this case; Steve Cottingham, Lawyer, OH Parsons; and Rob Miller, director, Cuba Solidarity Campaign.

A vigil will take place from 6-7.30pm outside the US Embassy following the delegation.

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