Monday, November 16, 2009

International Human Rights Activists Denounces Abduction and Beating of Bloggers and Issues a Call to the EU

International Human Rights Activists Denounces Abduction and Beating of Bloggers and Calls for EU to make democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms the priority in its relations with Cuba

Recalling that the abduction and beating of bloggers Yoani Sanchez and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo by Cuban state security agents on Friday November 6, 2009 is not an isolated event but part of a pattern of systematic harassment that in some cases leads to the deaths of independent civil society and pro-democracy activists.

Recalling that Oswaldo Paya Sardiñas won the Sakharov Prize in 2002 in recognition of the Varela Project in which 11,020 signatures petitioning for basic freedoms was delivered to the Cuban national assembly, that the response by the dictatorship was to declare the Constitution untouchable followed by a massive crackdown in March 2003 in which the petition organizers, independent journalists, and human rights activists were arrested, tried and sentenced in summary trials to up to 28 years in prison, and that following the crackdown an additional 14,000 signatures demanding reform were turned into the Cuban National Assembly.

Recalling that the mothers, sisters, and daughters of Cuban political prisoners organized into “The Ladies in White” peacefully and openly demand their loved ones’ freedom, only to be met with the regime’s Rapid Response Brigades and physical violence that in 2005 The Ladies in White won the Sakharov Prize, and. continue to march through the streets for their loved ones’ freedom.

Recalling that at the Forum 2000 Conference on "Democracy and Freedom in a Multipolar World" held in Prague, Cuban human rights activists, led by former political prisoner José Gabriel Ramón Castillo, presented the names of 305 political prisoners on the island, " The Prague List," is not meant to be inclusive, but it does provide a general idea of the scope of repression and how many are imprisoned because of their opposition to the dictatorship.

Recognizing that international solidarity has provided a measure of protection to Cuban democrats, independent civil society and human rights activists


We denounce the abduction and beating of bloggers Yoani Sanchez and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo by Cuban State Security and condemn this practice and demand its end.

We call on the Cuban regime to release all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, and commit to work to resolve the critical human rights situation in Cuba,

We call on democratic governments to develop a systematic multilateral effort to improve the critical human rights situation in Cuba.

We call on the European Union to maintain its 1996 Common Position on Cuba which means maintaining a high priority to the principles of democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

We resolve to raise awareness on the plight of the at least 305 identified political prisoners in Cuba in “The Prague List” currently serving unjust prison sentences for defending human rights and democracy in Cuba


José Gabriel Ramón Castillo
Proyecto Ciudadano Cubano

Dr. Aliaksandr Milinkevich,
Movement for Freedom in Belarus

Nazanin Afshin-Jam
International Human Rights Activist, Co-Founder and President of Stop Child Executions

Sabe A. Soe,
Burma Center Prague

Soe Aung,
Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Executive Committee Member
Network for Democracy and Development (NDD)

Carlos González
Respekt Institut

John Suarez
Human Rights Director
Cuban Democratic Directorate

Pavel Marozau,
Congress of the New Belarusian Diaspora of Europe and the United States
The Third Way Belarus Network,

Tamara Suju,
Nueva Conciencia Nacional A.C.
Fundación Damas de Blanco de Venezuela

Tenzin Gayden,
Students for a Free Tibet chapter at Florida International University

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