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Further information on UA 24/92 (AMR 25/05/92, 16 January and follow-up AMR 25/08/92, 20 January) - Cuba: prisoner of conscience / legal concern: Sebastian Arcos Bergnes

, Index number: AMR 25/010/1992

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 25/10/92
Distr: UA/SC
23 January 1992
Further information on UA 24/92 (AMR 25/05/92, 16 January 1992) and follow-up AMR
25/08/92, 20 January 1992 - Prisoner of Conscience/Legal Concern
CUBA: Sebastián ARCOS BERGNES, member of the executive of the Comité
Cubano Pro Derechos Humanos (CCPDH), Cuban Committee for
Human Rights, aged about 60
Amnesty International has learned that Sebastián Arcos Bergnes, a member of the
executive of the unofficial Comité Cubano Pro Derechos Humanos (CCPDH), Cuban
Committee for Human Rights, was not in fact released from detention on 16 January
1992 as was previously reported. According to latest reports, he is still being
held under investigation at the headquarters of the Departamento de Seguridad del
Estado (DSE), Department of State Security, at Villa Marista. His brother, Gustavo
Arcos Bergnes, the Secretary General of the CCPDH, who was arrested with him on 15
January but released the next day, was able to visit him on 22 January where he was
told that Sebastián could be brought to court on a charge of rebellion. As far as
Amnesty International is aware, he has not had access to a lawyer.
Sebastián Arcos Bergnes was arrested on 15 January 1992, together with his brother
Gustavo and another member of the CCPDH executive, Jesús Yanes Pelletier. That evening
extracts from the trial of three men who had been sentenced to death a few days earlier,
after being convicted of terrorism, sabotage and enemy propaganda (see UA 16/92,
AMR 25/02/92, 13 January 1992) were broadcast on Cuban television. They had been
caught entering the country illegally from the USA, allegedly with the purpose of
carrying out sabotage attacks and terrorist actions. During the trial, one of the
defendants, who has since been executed, read from a notebook the names and addresses
of the three CCPDH leaders whom they alleged they had been told to contact if they
encountered any problems. The names and addresses were also reportedly shown in large
letters on the television screen. Following the television broadcast, large groups
of people gathered outside the house of Gustavo Arcos Bergnes and carried out what
is known as an "acto de repudio", "act of repudiation". Such acts, which have become
frequent over recent months and which the authorities claim are the spontaneous
response of ordinary citizens to so-called "counter-revolutionary activities", are
known in many cases to involve the so-called Destacamentos Populares de Respuesta
Rápida, People's Rapid Response Detachments, in coordination with the security forces
and Communist Party organizations. The three CCPDH members were subsequently
arrested. Jesús Yanes Pelletier was released at the same time as Gustavo Arcos Bergnes.
Amnesty International believes that Sebastián Arcos Bergnes is a prisoner of
conscience detained solely on account of his peaceful human rights activities and
political views. The CCPDH executive has consistently dissociated itself from the
use of violence in order to bring about political change in Cuba and has called for
dialogue with the authorities. They have also specifically denied any links with
the three men on trial or any other violent groups or individuals.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/airmail letters:
- urging the immediate and unconditional release of Sebastián Arcos Bergnes on the
grounds that he is a prisoner of conscience detained solely on account of his peaceful
human rights activities and political views;
Page 2 of 2FU 24/92
- requesting that he be humanely treated while in detention;
- requesting that he be allowed full access to lawyers.
APPEALS TO
1) President:
Dr Fidel Castro Ruz Su Excelencia /
Presidente del Consejo de Estado Your Excellency
y del Consejo de Ministros
Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
Telegrams: Presidente Castro, Havana, Cuba
2) Minister of the Interior:
General Abelardo Colomé Ibarra Señor Ministro /
Ministro del Interior Dear Minister
Ministerio del Interior
Plaza de la Revolución
Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
Telegrams: Ministro Interior, Havana, Cuba
3) Head of Investigations at the Department of State Security:
Coronel Adalberto Rabeiro García Señor Coronel /
Jefe de Investigaciones Dear Sir
Departamento de Seguridad del Estado
Villa Marista
Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
Telegrams: Coronel Rabeiro, Villa Marista, Havana, Cuba
4) Attorney General:
Dr Ramón de la Cruz Ochoa Señor Fiscal General /
Fiscal General de la República Dear Attorney General
Fiscalía General de la República
San Rafael 3
Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
Telegrams: Fiscal General, Havana, Cuba
Telexes: 511456 FISGE
5) Minister of Justice:
Dr Carlos Amat Forés Señor Ministro /
Ministro de Justicia Dear Minister
Ministerio de Justicia
CAlle O No. 216, 8vo piso
e/ 23 y Humboldt, Vedado
Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
Telegrams: Ministro Justicia, Havana, Cuba
Telexes: 511331 MINJU CU
COPIES TO:
Information Bureau of the Human Rights Movement in Cuba
3901 S.W. 109 Ave, Apt B10
Miami
FL 33165
USA
and to diplomatic representatives of Cuba in your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your
section office, if sending appeals after 5 March 1992.

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