News and Facts about Cuba

Threats and assault on activists

Document – Cuba: Threats and assault on activists

UA: 343/12 Index: AMR 25/029/2012 Cuba Date: 30 November 2012



The Cuban authorities have threatened one of the country's leading human

rights defenders because of his human rights work, and a prominent

government critic has been assaulted on the street, apparently by state

security personnel.

State security officials threatened Elizardo Sánchez, of the

Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation (Comisión

Cubana de y Reconciliación Nacional – CCDHRN) in front

of his home in the afternoon of 27 November. He had been returning from

a meeting with the civil society platform group Cuban Democratic

Alliance (Alianza Democrática Cubana – ALDECU). Two men in civilian

clothes called out to him 100 metres from his home, which doubles as the

CCDHRN headquarters, in the Havana municipality of .,He realised he

had seen one of the men in security operations against peaceful

protestors. He asked the men to identify themselves. One of them showed

his identification from the Department of State Security (Departamento

de Seguridad del Estado) but obscured his name. Elizardo Sánchez

continued on his way and the men followed closely behind, telling him

that he was a mercenary in the pay of Washington and that he would face

"drastic measures" (medidas drásticas) if he continued his human rights

work. Elizardo Sánchez has told Amnesty International that neither he

nor other CCDHRN members have been threatened like this for the last 20


Independent Guillermo Fariñas also attended the ALDECU

meeting earlier that afternoon. At 8.30pm he was stopped on the street

in the Havana neighbourhood of Vedado by two men in civilian clothes.

One of them hit him on the right forearm with a piece of wood and called

him a "mercenary" and a "counter-revolutionary". They then got into a

car driven by a third person, of the type used by state security

personnel. These incidents represent a worrying new development in

government repression of peaceful activists.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

Calling on the Cuban authorities to investigate immediately the threats

against Elizardo Sánchez and the assault on Guillermo Fariñas;

Calling on them to cease immediately the harassment of the two men and

all other citizens who peacefully exercise their rights to of

and association.


Head of State and Government

Raúl Castro Ruz

de la República de Cuba

La Habana, Cuba

Fax: +41 22 758 9431 (Cuba office in Geneva); +1 212 779 1697 (via Cuban

Mission to UN)

Email: (c/o Cuban Mission to UN)

Salutation: Your Excellency

Attorney General

Dr. Darío Delgado Cura

Fiscal General de la República, Fiscalía General de la República,

Amistad 552, e/Monte y Estrella, Centro Habana,

La Habana, Cuba

Salutation: Dear Attorney General

And copies to:

Interior Minister

General Abelardo Coloma Ibarra

Ministro del Interior y Prisiones

Ministerio del Interior, Plaza de la Revolución, La Habana, Cuba

Fax: +1 212 779 1697 (via Cuban Mission to UN)


Salutation: Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above




ADditional Information

The Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation was

founded by Elizardo Sánchez in 1987.The authorities have denied it legal

status, as they do to all organizations deemed to be critical of the

government. Elizardo Sánchez spent eight-and-a-half years in

between 1980 and 1992 in connection with his human rights work. Amnesty

International declared him a .

Guillermo Fariñas is an who has been involved in

a peaceful campaign for freedom of expression in Cuba. At the end of

2009 he started a hunger strike that lasted four months calling for the

release of prisoners of conscience.

The Cuban Democratic Alliance (ALDECU) is a civil society platform,

defined as "pluralistic analysis group" (grupo plural de análisis). Its

members meet once a month to discuss socio-political and economic issues

in Cuba.

The ALDECU meeting on 27 November was also attended by Antonio Rodiles,

national coordinator of Citizen Demand for Another Cuba (Demanda

Ciudadana Por Otra Cuba), an initiative calling for Cuba to ratify the

International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic,

Social and Cultural Rights. He had just been released from 19 days in

police custody. On his release, charges of "resisting authority" against

him were dropped but he was warned against continuing his activism.

Name: Elizardo Sánchez, Guillermo Fariñas

Gender m/f: both m

UA: 343/12 Index: AMR 25/029/2012 Issue Date: 30 November 2012"

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