UN rights body turns deaf ear to Miami Five relatives

Campaign News | Saturday, 3 April 2004

Commission has not even acknowledged receipt of their complaint

April 1: Calling their treatment "cold, inhumane and hypocritical", the families of five Cubans imprisoned in the United States complained of the lack of response from the UN Human Rights Commission to

their complaints.

In interviews transmitted by the Roundtable broadcast in Cuba, Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez, wives of two of the Cuban Five, told of the evidence presented to UN rapporteurs and the commission itself that US authorities have repeatedly violated the human rights of the Five and their families.

The wives, mothers and children of Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino and Fernando Gonzalez said that the commission in Geneva had ignored their complaint and had yet to even respond with the usual formula: "your case is being investigated."

The Cuban Five were condemned to exceptionally harsh sentences ranging from 15 years to double life imprisonment after trials that the defense calls political and calculating, with cruel and unusual treatment that includes arbitrary solitary confinement and refusal of visas to family members for prison visits.

Defense Attorney Leonard Weinglass emphasized, "Our defendants are five brave Cubans who harmed neither person nor property, did not carry weapons or explosives, and saved Cuban and US lives."

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