Just one Public Action for Human Rights in Cuba

Today, on the international day of human rights, Civil Rights Defenders calls on the EU delegation and embassies in Havana, to show publicly at least one action in favour of human rights in Cuba. A public action would be something new, and a clear sign that the EU representations have listened to the European Parliament resolution on Cuba from 28 November that:

”calls on the EEAS and the Commission to actively support civil society groups and individuals defending human rights in Cuba, including through arranging prison visits, trial monitoring and public statements; [And]

“calls on the new VP/HR to report back to Parliament on the actions undertaken so far by the EU Delegation”. (§ L12)

The last couple of days, the Cuban state security has threatened and detained dozens of Cuban human rights defenders. One of them is Maria Elena Mir Marrero, who got her house in Guanabo, outside Havana, surrounded by security police explaining she would be detained if she went outside. Ms. Mir Marrero has been subjected to arbitrary detention and persecution by Cuban State Security Forces and the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) on numerous occasions the last couple of years because of her work in the Cuban Leaders’ Network (RELLIC) an organisation promoting democratic leadership in Cuba.

If the EU delegation and embassies in Cuba would intervene before the Cuban authorities and demand publicly the protection of all the rights of Ms Mir Marrero, that would have an important direct effect on the protection of Ms. Mir Marrero, but also increase the protection of all human rights defenders in Cuba.

It costs nothing and takes no effort. It is just a matter of daring and doing.

The events described below are just the most recent violations of the human rights of Ms. Mir Marrero. 

  • On 3 June, 2019, Ms. Mir Marrero was detained when trying to reach José Martí International Airport in Havana, where she would take a flight to Panamá to participate in a meeting of the Democratic Unity Coalition (MUAD). Ms. Mir Marrero was then beaten by State Security Forces and later taken to the National Revolutionary Police (PNR by its Spanish initials) Station in Cotoro, without previous judicial order, where she was detained for 7 hours.  
  • On 25 June, Ms. Mir Marrero was again prevented from leaving the country, when she was about to travel to attend the 49th OAS General Assembly in Medellín, Colombia.  
  • On 13 July, Ms Mir Marrero was prevented by the PNR and Cuban State Security from leaving her house to assist an event and peaceful protest organised in connection to the Rebellion Day in Cuba. Ms Mir was detained in her house for approximately 14 hours, without previous judicial order.  
  • On 18 September, the State Security and the PNR raided the home of Ms. Mir Marrero, and confiscated her books, documents and working tools (such as her computer, phone, printer, etc.), among other things. During the raid she was beaten and subjected to unjustified excessive use of force by the police. Afterwards, she was taken to the PNR Station in Tarará where she was threatened by the State Security, who told her that she could be prosecuted for crimes against the peace and security of the State, crimes that she was also accused of in 2014 without due process.  
  • On 16 November, Ms. Mir Marrero was informed by State Security Forces, that she is a person of interest for the Cuban state. This is extremely serious, as it means that State Security and police are allowed to detain and interrogate her without justification.  
  • On 23 November, Ms. Mir Marrero came back from Colombia, where she had participated at a workshop organised by Civil Rights Defenders. At the airport she was detained by the security police for almost six hours and got all her luggage searched. She was also informed that this time she had been allowed to leave the country as the authorities thought she was going to remain abroad. The security police also threatened her by saying that there were accusations against her since 2014 on charges of disobedience against the revolutionary leadership and enemy propaganda.
  • On 27 November, one of the agents that detained Ms. Mir Marrero at the airport on 23 November arrived at her home telling her that if she would leave the house before 10 December, she would suffer “consequences”.
  • On 9 December, Ms. Mir Marrero’s house was surrounded by security police threatening to detain her. Many other human rights defenders’ houses were also surrounded by security police prior to the international day of human rights on 10 December.

The case of Ms. Mir Marrero represents a clear example of the Cuban government’s complete disregard for the civil and political rights of its citizens. Civil Rights Defenders submitted the case and situation of Ms. Mir Marrero to the EEAS and its delegation in Cuba, prior to the Human Rights Dialogue between the EU and Cuba held on 2 and 3 October 2019. 

Contact information of Ms Mir Marrero
Phone and whatsapp: +5352759374 
Email: mmirmarrero@gmail.com