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Cuba: Prisoner of conscience / legal concern

, رقم الوثيقة: AMR 25/003/1998

Juan Carlos Recio Martinez and Cecilio Monteagudo Sanchez: The two men will reportedly stand trial on 3 February 1998 on charges of "enemy propaganda" and "other acts against state security". AI considers Cecilio Monteagudo Sanchez, detained since 15 September 1997, to be a prisoner of conscience and fears that Juan Carlos Recio Martinez is in danger of becoming one. There is also concern that the trial may not fully meet international standards.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 25/03/98
EXTRA 10/98 Prisoner of Conscience / Legal concern 29 January 1998
CUBA Juan Carlos Recio Martínez, aged 29, journalist
Cecilio Monteagudo Sánchez, aged 26
Juan Carlos Recio Martínez and Cecilio Monteagudo Sánchez will reportedly stand
trial on 3 February 1998, in the Villa Clara People’s Provincial Tribunal,
on charges of "enemy propaganda" and "other acts against state security".
This is reportedly on the grounds that they produced a leaflet calling on people
not to vote in the local elections that took place in October 1997. Amnesty
International considers Cecilio Monteagudo Sánchez, in detention since 15
September 1997, to be a prisoner of conscience and fears that Juan Carlos Recio
Martínez is in danger of becoming one. It believes they were arrested solely
for attempting to peacefully exercise their rights to freedom of expression,
association and assembly. There is also concern that they will not be granted
full judicial guarantees in accordance with international standards.
Cecilio Monteagudo Sánchez, a member of the unofficial Partido Solidaridad
Democrática, Democratic Solidarity Party, in Camajuaní, Villa Clara province,
is believed to be held in the Villa Clara Provincial Prison (known as "La
Pendiente"), Santa Clara, Villa Clara province. Juan Carlos Recio Martínez,
a journalist working for the independent press agency Cuba Press, was questioned
on 3 November 1997 but released to await trial. The prosecution are believed
to be seeking a sentence of six years’ imprisonment for Cecilio Monteagudo
and 18 month’s "correctional work with internment" for Juan Carlos Recio.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
In Cuba freedom of expression, association and assembly are severely limited
in law and in practice. Those who attempt to express views or organize meetings
or form organizations that conflict with government policy and/or the aims
of the socialist state are likely to be subjected to punitive measures including
loss of employment, harassment, intimidation and often imprisonment. It is
difficult to give precise numbers of prisoners of conscience because of the
severe restrictions on human rights monitoring and the lack of official
information. However, Amnesty International believes that there are several
hundred people currently imprisoned in Cuba because of their peaceful attempts
to exercise their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
The most common charges of an overtly political nature brought against such
people are "propaganda enemiga", "enemy propaganda", and "desacato",
"disrespect". In many cases those concerned are charged with criminal
offences, sometimes trumped up, in order to disguise the political motivation
for their arrest.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express letters in
Spanish or your own language:
- noting reports that Juan Carlos Recio Martínez and Cecilio Monteagudo Sánchez
are to be tried on 3 February 1998 on charges of "enemy propaganda" and "other
acts against state security";
- expressing concern that the charges have been brought against them solely
because of their peaceful political activities;
- requesting that the charges be immediately dropped and that Cecilio Monteagudo
be immediately and unconditionally released;
- urging that, if brought to trial, they both be provided with full judicial
guarantees in accordance with international fair trial standards, including
adequate access to a lawyer of their choice.
2
APPEALS TO:
This is a limited action. Please restrict appeals to 15 per section.
1) Attorney-General
Dr Juan Escalona Reguera
Fiscal General de la República
Fiscalía General de la República
San Rafael 3, La Habana, Cuba
Telegrams: Fiscal General, Havana, Cuba
Telexes: 511456 fisge
Salutation: Sr Fiscal General / Dear Attorney General
2) Minister of Foreign Affairs
Sr Roberto Robaina González
Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores
Calzada No. 360, Vedado, La Habana, Cuba
Telegrams: Ministro Relaciones Exteriores, Havana, Cuba
Telexes: 511122 / 511464 / 512950
Faxes: + 53 7 335261
Salutation: Señor Ministro / Dear Minister
3) Minister of the Interior
General Abelardo Colomé Ibarra
Ministro de Interior
Ministerio del Interior
Plaza de la Revolución, La Habana, Cuba
Telegrams: Ministro Interior, Havana, Cuba
Salutation: Señor Ministro / Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
National Union of Jurists
Unión Nacional de Juristas
Apartado 4161
La Habana 4, Cuba
Editor of Granma (daily newspaper)
Sr Jacinto Granda de Laserna
Granma, Apdo 6260, La Habana, Cuba
and to diplomatic representatives of Cuba accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 27 February 1998.

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