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Further information on UA 257/91 (AMR 25/19/91, 25 July) - Cuba: prisoner of conscience / legal concern / health concern: Roberto Luque Escalona

, Index number: AMR 25/020/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 25/20/91
Distr: UA/SC
26 July 1991
Further information on UA 257/91 (AMR 25/19/91, 25 July 1991) - Prisoner of
Conscience/Legal Concern/Health Concern
CUBA: Roberto LUQUE ESCALONA, writer and former journalist, aged 55
Amnesty International has received further details concerning the current
situation of Roberto Luque Escalona, who was arrested in Havana on 19 July
1991. He is being held in the Departamento Provincial de Operaciones
Policiales, Provincial Police Operations Department, of the Departamento
Técnico de Investigaciones (DTI), Technical Investigations Department. His
wife was able to visit him for about 20 minutes on 24 July 1991 in the presence
of the police lieutenant in charge of the investigation of his case. She was
reportedly told that her husband is being investigated on a charge of desacato,
disrespect, under article 144.2 of the Cuban Penal Code, rather than a public
order offence as was originally reported. Article 144.2 states that anyone
who insults or offends a senior government official can be sentenced to between
one and three years' imprisonment. This charge has frequently been used in
the past against anyone who criticizes President Fidel Castro. Roberto Luque's
wife was informed that she could appoint a lawyer for her husband. However,
it is unusual for detainees held on charges of a political nature to have direct
access to a lawyer until the investigatory phase of the proceedings is completed,
sometimes only very shortly before their trial is due to take place.
Roberto Luque Escalona is still on hunger strike and was reportedly told
in the course of a recent medical examination that he is suffering from emphysema
of the lungs.
Amnesty International believes that Roberto Luque Escalona is a prisoner
of conscience detained for peacefully expressing his political beliefs and
is urging that he be immediately and unconditionally released.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/airmail letters and telephone
- urging the immediate and unconditional release of Roberto Luque Escalona
on the grounds that he is a prisoner of conscience detained for peacefully
expressing his political beliefs;
- requesting that he be humanely treated while in detention, allowed full access
to family and lawyers, and be given adequate medical treatment;
- requesting that all independent human rights monitors and non-violent
political dissidents be permitted to carry out their legitimate activities
Dr Fidel Castro Ruz
[Salutation: Su Excelencia]
Presidente del Consejo de Estado
y del Consejo de Ministros
Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
Telegrams: Presidente Castro, Havana, Cuba
Telexes: 51212 P DESP PRESID
General Abelardo Colomé Ibarra
[Salutation: Señor Ministro]
Ministro del Interior
Ministerio del Interior
Plaza de la Revolución
Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
Telegrams: Ministro Interior, Havana, Cuba
Telexes: 511122 / 511464 / 511560 MINREX HAB
Dr Ramón de la Cruz Ochoa
[Salutation: Señor Fiscal General]
Fiscal General de la República
Fiscalía General de la República
San Rafael 3
Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
Telegrams: Fiscal General, Havana, Cuba
Telexes: 511456 FISGE
Señor Director
Departamento Provincial de Operaciones
Departamento Técnico de Investigaciones
Calle 100 y Avenida Aldabó
Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
Telephone: Havana 44 45 04
1040 S.W. 27 Ave
FL 33135
(Coordinating Body of Human Rights Organizations in Cuba, which includes the
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 6 September 1991.

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