Cuba Must End Repression Against Human Rights Defenders

More than two weeks have passed since several Cuban activists went on hunger and thirst strike, demanding that the Government of Cuba ends its crackdown on human rights. Among the activists is the prominent human rights defender Guillermo Fariñas who has been awarded the Sakharov Price for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament. Fariñas and the other activists further demand that the Government opens up to dialogue with the opposition.

Civil Rights Defenders is deeply concerned over the health conditions of the several activists and strongly condemns the systematic repression that human rights defenders face in Cuba. We find it very important that the activists’ human rights requests are heard and dealt with urgently. The Cuban government must see to their requests and comply with international standards of human rights.

In addition, we are concerned over the harsh repression of the regime against the #Todosmarchamos (“we all march”) campaign. Every Sunday, the group of regime opponents, together with Ladies in White, advocates for the release of political prisoners through a march. More than 60 Sundays have now passed since the start of the campaign. The group has been subjected to harassment and violence for exercising their rights to demonstrate publicly and peacefully.

According to the Cuban Commission of Human Rights and reconciliation, there was 845 cases of arbitrary detentions in the month of July alone. Furthermore, many Cubans are trying to leave the country in order to escape the precarious situation. 2 200 Cuban migrants have spent the last few weeks in the frontier between Colombia and Panama trying to reach the USA, and 30 000 people are risking their safety trying to cross the border between Ecuador and Colombia for the same reason.

Civil Rights Defenders urges the Cuban Government to end all repression against Cuban citizens and human rights defenders and to guarantee their civil and political rights, in particular the rights of freedom of expression, freedom of thought, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and the right to life and physical integrity. Furthermore, we invite the international community to take a positive stance against the repression. We urge you to support the activists’ peaceful defence of their rights and to condemn the human rights violations that currently occur in Cuba.