[Ppnews] Amnesty International Seeks Review of Case of the ‘Cuban Five’

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Oct 13 15:49:09 EDT 2010


Amnesty International Press Release
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Amnesty International Seeks Review of Case of the ‘Cuban Five’
Human rights organization calls on US government 
to review case and mitigate any injustice

Contact: AIUSA media relations office, 
202-509-8194      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

(Washington, D.C.) In a report released today, 
Amnesty International outlines its concerns with 
the fairness of the trial of five men convicted 
in 2001 of acting as intelligence agents for 
Cuba, among other charges. The five men are 
serving terms ranging from 15 years to life in US federal prisons.

In a letter sent to United States Attorney 
General Eric Holder on October 4, Amnesty 
International noted doubts about the fairness and 
impartiality of the trial which have not been 
resolved on appeal. The human rights organization 
has not taken a position on whether the five men 
are guilty or innocent of the charges against them.

The five -- Cuban nationals Fernando González, 
Gerardo Hernández and Ramón Labañino, and US 
nationals Antonio Guerrero and René González -- 
were tried in Miami and convicted on various 
counts, including acting and conspiring to act as 
unregistered agents of the Republic of Cuba, 
fraud and misuse of identity documents and, in 
the case of three of the accused, conspiracy to 
transmit national defense information. Gerardo 
Hernández was further convicted of conspiracy to 
murder, based on his alleged role in the 1996 
shoot-down by Cuba of two planes operated by a US 
anti-Castro organization, Brothers to the Rescue, in which four people died.

Amnesty International’s report said holding the 
trial in Miami, given the pervasive hostility to 
the Cuban government in that area, along with 
media and other events before and during the 
trial were factors that made it impossible to ensure a wholly impartial jury.

Other concerns included questions about the 
strength of the evidence to support the 
conspiracy to murder conviction in the case of 
Gerardo Hernández, and whether the circumstances 
of the pre-trial detention of the five men, in 
which they had limited access to their attorneys 
and to documents, may have undermined their right to defense.

Amnesty International has called on the 
government to review the case and mitigate any 
injustice through the clemency process or other 
appropriate means, should further legal appeals prove ineffective.

Amnesty International has also reiterated its 
concern about the repeated denials by the US 
government of temporary visas to allow the Cuban 
wives of two of the prisoners, René González and 
Gerardo Hernández, to visit their husbands. The 
organization is concerned that such a blanket or 
permanent bar on visits with their wives 
constitutes additional punishment and is contrary 
to international standards for the humane 
treatment of prisoners and states’ obligation to 
protect family life. Amnesty International 
continues to urge the government to grant the 
wives temporary visas on humanitarian grounds.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace 
Prize-winning grassroots activist organization 
with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists 
and volunteers in more than 150 countries 
campaigning for human rights worldwide. The 
organization investigates and exposes abuses, 
educates and mobilizes the public, and works to 
protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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