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GOVERNMENT CRITICS JAILED FOR SPEAKING OUT – AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

DOCUMENT – CUBA: GOVERNMENT CRITICS JAILED FOR SPEAKING OUT

UA: 205/13 Index: AMR 25/006/2013 Cuba Date: 2 August 2013
URGENT ACTION
GOVERNMENT CRITICS JAILED FOR SPEAKING OUT
Two government critics are serving sentences in Cuba on
politically motivated charges, following summary trials. Amnesty
International considers them prisoners of conscience, detained solely
for peacefully exercising their right to of .
Emilio Planas Robert and Rafael Matos Montes de Oca were in the
city of Guantánamo in Guantánamo Province on 23 and 27 September 2012
respectively by Cuban and officials from the Department of State
Security. The men, who are both members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba
(Unión Patriótica de Cuba, UNPACU) were charged with “dangerousness”
(), a pre-emptive measure defined as the “special proclivity
of a person to commit crimes”. Behaviour such as drunkenness,
drug-addiction and “antisocial behaviour” is criminalized under this
legislation. However, it is also used as a pretext to imprison political
dissidents, independent journalists and government critics. Emilio
Planas Robert was sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment and
Rafael Matos Montes de Oca to two-and-a-half years following summary
trials on 5 and 15 October 2012 respectively.
The authorities had accused them of putting up posters in Guantánamo
city with “anti-government” slogans such as “down with Fidel” (abajo
Fidel) and “down with hunger” (abajo la hambre). According to their
families, no incriminating material was found at their houses and none
was presented at their trials.
Amnesty International believes these sentences are politically
motivated, relating to the two men’s peaceful exercise of their right to
freedom of expression, and that it is intended to send a message of
intimidation to other government critics, particularly other members of
UNPACU. Therefore the organization considers them prisoners of conscience.
Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:
Calling on the authorities to release Rafael Matos Montes de Oca and
Emilio Planas Robert immediately and unconditionally, as they are
prisoners of conscience, detained solely for peacefully exercising their
right to freedom of expression
calling on them to eliminate from the Criminal Code provisions regarding
“dangerousness” and repeal all legislation which unduly limits freedom
of expression and association.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 13 SEPTEMBER 2013 TO:

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)
Email:
Salutation: Your Excellency
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your
country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above
date.

URGENT ACTION
GOVERNMENT CRITICS JAILED FOR SPEAKING OUT
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Article 72 of the Cuban Criminal Code, “The Dangerous State”, reads:
“The dangerous state is considered to be the special proclivity of a
person to commit crimes as demonstrated by behaviour that manifestly
contradicts the norms of socialist morals.” (Se considera estado
peligroso la especial proclividad en que se halla una persona para
cometer delitos, demostrada por la conducta que observa en contradicción
manifiesta con las normas de la moral socialista).
Both Rafael Matos Montes de Oca and Emilio Planas Robert were sentenced
to security measures for those deemed to be likely to commit a crime in
the future (medidas de seguridad predelictivas). Articles 78 to 84 of
the Criminal Code describe the types of measure that can be taken, which
include re-educative measures lasting from between one and four years.
The person is to be interned in a “specialized work or study
establishment” (un establecimiento especializado de trabajo o de
estudio) or sent to “a work collective” (colectivo de trabajo). There is
no mention of imprisonment.
Article 75 of the Criminal Code states that an “Official Warning”
(Advertencia Oficial) will be given by the relevant police authority, to
prevent those concerned from carrying out socially dangerous or criminal
activities (será objeto de advertencia por la autoridad policíaca
competente, en prevención de que incurre en actividades socialmente
peligrosas o delictivas). The warning is to be issued as a legal
document (acta) expressly stating the reasons for it, as well as what
the person concerned has to say about it, and must be signed by both
parties. According to their families, neither Rafael Matos Montes de Oca
nor Emilio Planas Robert reportedly ever received any warning from the
authorities, written or oral.
Rafael Matos Montes de Oca’s wife was only told of his trial when it was
already underway, and was only able to attend the closing stages – she
had been in the process of hiring a lawyer at the time. Emilio Planas
Robert’s family were not informed of his trial and he was also not
represented by a lawyer. Both trials reportedly lasted less than two hours.
The accusations made by the Public Prosecutor during Rafael Matos Montes
de Oca’s trial were reportedly that he did not work, did not have good
relations with his neighbours, drank alcohol, wandered the streets at
night and associated with counter-revolutionary elements. Emilio Planas
Robert was apparently accused of being antisocial and meeting with
counter-revolutionary elements.
Both men are imprisoned in the Guantánamo Provincial Prison (prisión
provincial de Guantánamo).
The Patriotic Union of Cuba is a civil society organization which
advocates for greater civil liberties on the island.
.
Name: Rafael Matos Montes de Oca and Emilio Planas Robert
Gender m/f: both m

UA: 205/13 Index: AMR 25/006/2013 Issue Date: 2 August 2013

Source: “Document – Cuba: Government critics jailed for speaking out |
Amnesty International” –
http://amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR25/006/2013/en/54365c2d-6bf4-4bc5-b040-50a58d95f46e/amr250062013en.html

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