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Further information on UA 02/92 (AMR 25/01/92, 3 January; and follow-up AMR 25/23/92, 30 April) - Cuba: prisoners of conscience / legal concern: Yndamiro Restano Diaz, and three other members of MAR: Berenice Morales, Jorge Egana, Iraida Montalvo Miranda,

, N° d'index: AMR 25/024/1992

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 25/24/92
Distr: UA/SC
4 June 1992
Further information on UA 02/92 (AMR 25/01/92, 3 January 1992) and follow-up
AMR 25/23/92, 30 April 1992 - Prisoners of Conscience/Legal Concern
CUBA: Yndamiro RESTANO DIAZ, aged 44, journalist and President of the
Movimiento de Armonía (MAR), Harmony Movement
and three other members of MAR:
Berenice MORALES (female)
Jorge EGAÑA
Iraída MONTALVO MIRANDA (female)
and new name:
María Elena APARICIO (female), also member of MAR
The trial of Yndamiro Restano Díaz took place on 20 May 1992 at the Tribunal
Popular Provincial de la Ciudad de la Habana, City of Havana People's Provincial
Court. He was brought to trial together with María Elena Aparicio, an employee
of the Centro Nacional de Conservación y Museología, National Conservation
and Museums Centre, belonging to the Ministry of Culture. Both were charged
with rebellion under articles 98 and 99 of the Cuban Penal Code.
The prosecution alleged that Yndamiro Restano, President of the Movimiento
de Armonía (MAR), Harmony Movement, had broken the law by recruiting members
to his organization without first obtaining legal recognition for the group
from the Ministry of Justice and that the group clearly intended to change
the political, economic and social regime by forming clandestine cells to carry
out civil disobedience and even sabotage and attacks on police officers and
leading political figures. No evidence was produced to back up the allegations
that the group, which has consistently rejected the use of violence, was planning
violent activities. In fact, during the trial three prosecution witnesses
reportedly retracted incriminating statements they had earlier signed against
Yndamiro Restano. Both defendants were also accused of producing and
distributing documents and pamphlets criticizing the Cuban government policies.
A sentence of twelve years was requested by the prosecution for Yndamiro Restano
and eight years for María Elena Aparicio. In the event, they were sentenced
to ten years and seven years respectively. It is not known at present whether
the two intend to appeal against their sentences.
Yndamiro Restano was represented at the trial by a defence lawyer of his choice
and was also allowed to speak in his own defence. He reportedly took the
opportunity to express his political views and to criticize the trial, saying
that he had been found guilty before the hearing had taken place. A number
of foreign diplomats who attempted to attend the hearing were prevented from
doing so but two foreign journalists were able to be present.
Amnesty International believes that Yndamiro Restano Díaz and María Elena
Aparicio are prisoners of conscience who have been imprisoned solely for trying
to carry out their legitimate non-violent political activities. MAR was set
up in 1990 with the declared aim of "through our ideas helping with the transition
from state socialism to democratic socialism in our country" ["ayudar con
nuestras ideas a la transición del socialismo del estado al socialismo
democrático en nuestra patria"]. It is also part of a larger grouping of
unofficial political
and human rights groups called the Concertación Democrática Cubana, Cuban
Democratic Convergence.
It appears that no proceedings are to be taken against Berenice Morales Jorge
Egaña and Iraída Montalvo Miranda who were also arrested in December 1991 but
were released shortly afterwards.
Page 2 of FU 02/92
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/airmail letters:
- expressing concern that Yndamiro Restano Díaz and María Elena Aparicio have
been sentenced to ten and seven years' imprisonment respectively;
- urging that they be immediately and unconditionally released on the grounds
that they are prisoners of conscience detained solely on account of their
legitimate and peaceful political activities.
APPEALS TO:
1) President:
Su Excelencia Dr Fidel Castro Ruz Su Excelencia /
Presidente del Consejo de Estado Your Excellency
Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
Telegrams: Presidente Castro, Havana, Cuba
Telexes: 511122 [Ministry of Foreign Affairs]
2) Attorney General:
Dr Ramón de la Cruz Ochoa Señor Fiscal General /
Fiscal General de la República Dear Attorney General
Fiscalía General de la Repúblic
San Rafael 3, Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
Telegrams: Fiscal General, Havana, Cuba
Telexes: 511456 FISGE
3) 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
4) President of the People's Supreme Court:
Dr José Raúl Amaro Salup Señor Presidente /
Presidente del Tribunal Supremo Popular Dear President
Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
Telegrams: Presidente Tribunal Supremo Popular, Havana, Cuba
Telexes: 511457 TSUPO
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Coordinating Body of Human Rights Organizations in Cuba:
CODEHU
1040 S.W. 27 Ave, Miami, FL 33135
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 16 July 1992.

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