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Cuba: Further information on arbitrary detention / harassment

, N° d'index: AMR 25/011/1996

Arrests of members of Concilio Cubano have continued. There is particular concern at reports of the rearrest on 27 February of Rafael Solano, director of the independent press agency 'Habana Press'. His family have also received anonymous death threats. Reinaldo Casno Alen and Dr Rene Gomez Manzano were released after a few days, but some reports have indicated that Dr Manzano may have been rearrested. Dr Leonel Morejon Almagro was tried on 23 February at a municipal court in Havana and was sentenced to six months' imprisonment. It is believed that the charges against Dr Morejon and Lazaro Gonzalez Valdes, sentenced to 14 months' imprisonment the day before, are politically motivated and that they are prisoners of conscience.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 25/11/96
29 February 1996
Further information on UA 08/96 (AMR 25/01/96, 16 January 1996) and follow-ups
(AMR 25/02/96, 17 January; AMR 25/05/96, 20 February; AMR 25/06/96, 22 February;
AMR 25/08/96, 23 February) - Arbitrary Detention / Harassment
CUBADr Leonel MOREJÓN ALMAGRO, lawyer and national organizer of
Concilio Cubano
Lázaro GONZÁLEZ VALDÉS, deputy national organizer of Concilio
Mercedes PARADA ANTÚNEZ (f), deputy national organizer of Concilio Cubano
Reinaldo COSANO ALÉN, deputy national organizer of Concilio
Dr René GÓMEZ MANZANO, lawyer, founder member of Concilio
Eugenio RODRÍGUEZ CHAPLE, prominent member of Concilio Cubano
rearrest:Rafael SOLANO, director of Habana Press and member of a group
belonging to Concilio Cubano
Amnesty International has learned that Reinaldo Cosano Alén, who was detained
on 21 February, was released after two or three days, apparently without charge.
Dr René Gómez Manzano was also released a few days after his arrest on 17 February
but some reports indicate he was re-arrested on the weekend of 24/25 February.
Because of communication difficulties, it is not clear whether he or Eugenio
Rodríguez Chaple are still in detention at the time of writing. Contrary to
previous reports indicating that she had been transferred to a detention centre,
it appears that Mercedes Parada Antúnez is still in hospital under police guard.
Arrests of members of Concilio Cubano have continued over the past week.
Amnesty International is particularly concerned at reports of the rearrest
on 27 February of Rafael Solano, the director of an independent press agency
called Habana Press which is part of the Buró de Periodistas Independientes
de Cuba (BPIC), Bureau of Independent Journalists of Cuba, which in turn is
part of Concilio Cubano. His family only found out about 24 hours later that
he had been taken to a police station in Marianao, Havana. When they went
there, they were not permitted to see him but were told he was to be transferred
today to the State Security headquarters at Villa Marista. This suggests that
the authorities may be intending to charge him with a state security offence
such as spreading "enemy propaganda", with which he has been threatened in
the past. He has so far had no access to a lawyer. Hours before his arrest,
he and his family received anonymous phone calls in which threats against their
lives were made. At the time of his arrest, State Security officials reportedly
said he would not be coming back this time and that he would be imprisoned
for up to 10 years. Rafael Solano has been arrested on several occasions in
the past eight months, three times in the last ten days, and warned that he
will be imprisoned if he does not cease his journalistic activities or leave
the country.
Dr Leonel Morejón Almagro was brought to trial on 23 February at a municipal
court in Havana. He was sentenced to six months' imprisonment on a charge
of "resistencia", "resistance", on the grounds that he resisted arrest. His
defence lawyer reportedly did not have details of the prosecution's case against
his client until an hour or so before the trial and was only able to speak
to Dr Morejón briefly shortly before the hearing. Afterwards, the defence
lawyer, Dr José Angel Izquierdo González, was reportedly fined by the court
for alleging that the trial was a "sham" ["simulado"] and was ordered to report
to the authorities on 29 February. Amnesty International believes that the
charges against Dr Morejón and Lázaro González Valdés, who was sentenced to
14 months' imprisonment the day before (see previous update), are
politically-motivated and that they are prisoners of conscience.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in Spanish, otherwise English or in your own language:
- expressing concern at reports that Lázaro González Valdés and Dr Leonel Morejón
Almagro have been sentenced to prison terms;
- expressing concern at reports of the arrest of Rafael Solano on 27 February;
- urging that he granted immediate access to a lawyer of his choice and that
he be permitted family visits;
- urging the immediate and unconditional release of all three on the grounds
that they are prisoners of conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising
their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
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
Faxes: + 53 7 333164
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 333085 / + 53 7 335261
Salutation: Señor Ministro / Dear Minister
3) Department of State Security
Sr Director
Departamento de Seguridad del Estado
Villa Marista
La Víbora
La Habana, Cuba
Telegrams: Director, Villa Marista, Havana, Cuba
Salutation: Señor Director / Dear Sir
National Union of Jurists
Unión Nacional de Juristas de Cuba
Apartado 4161
La Habana 4, Cuba
Granma (daily newspaper)
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 20 April 1996.

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