EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 25/17/95
15 November 1995
Further information on UA 439/94 (AMR 25/14/94, 13 December 1994) and follow-ups
(AMR 25/16/94, 19 December 1994; AMR 25/11/95, 30 August 1995; 13 September;
AMR 25/12/95, 3 October) - Death Penalty / Fear of ill-treatment / Health Concern
/ Death Threats
CUBA Juvencio PADRON DUEÑAS (known as Juan Carlos)
Felix MOLINA VALDÉS
Carlos Camilo RODRIGUEZ GORRIN
Carlos CRUZ SEGUIS
The appeal against the death sentences of Juvencio Padrón Dueñas, Felix Molina
Valdés and Carlos Cruz Seguis is scheduled for 23 November 1995.
Death penalty cases are automatically subject to appeal before the People's
Supreme Court. If confirmed, the death sentences will then be brought before
the Council of State, presided over by President Fidel Castro, which makes
the final decision on whether execution should go ahead. The time lapse between
the trial and the final decision has on some occasions in the past been only
a matter of days. Execution then usually goes ahead within hours or days.
The three men, together with Camilo Rodríguez Gorrín, were brought to trial
on 29 September 1995 at the Ciego de Avila People's Provincial Court, charged
with the murder and robbery of two elderly people in Ciego de Avila. All four
were found guilty - the three were sentenced to death and Camilo Rodríguez
Gorrín to 30 years' imprisonment.
Apart from the death penalty, which it opposes in all cases as a violation
of the right to life and the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman and
degrading treatment or punishment, Amnesty International has a number of other
concerns in this case. For example, during the investigation process there
were several irregularities, including physical pressures reportedly inflicted
on the detainees to force them to accept the charges.
There have also been allegations that the arrest of Juvencio Padrón Dueñas
may be in reprisal for the political activities of other members of his family.
Amnesty International has received reports that one of the other defendants
in the case was beaten and forced to make a statement, which he now refutes,
falsely implicating Juvencio Padrón Dueñas in the murder - there is reportedly
no other evidence of his involvement. Furthermore, Juvencio Padrón Dueñas
is said to have received death threats while in detention, to have had access
to a lawyer on only one occasion prior to the trial, and to have been denied
adequate medical treatment for a neurological condition from which he has been
suffering since the time of his arrest.
To Amnesty International's knowledge, two executions have been carried out
in Cuba so far this year.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/airmail
letters in Spanish or in your own language:
- urging commutation of the death sentences recently passed on Juvencio Padron
Dueñas, Felix Molina Valdés and Carlos Cruz Seguis;
- expressing concern and sympathy for the families and friends of the victims
of violent crime, but stating unconditional opposition to the death penalty
in all cases;