Sábado, 16 de Noviembre de 2019
Última actualización: 16:13 CET

Editorial: Holding the Repressors Accountable

Arrest in Havana. (EFE)

Both off and on the Island, in recent weeks several successful actions have been taken against State-perpetrated violence.

Composed of lawyers, professors, human rights activists and political and student leaders of several Latin American countries, a new organization was announced: the International Commission for the Investigation of Crimes against Humanity by the Castro Regime. Dedicated in its first stage to documenting and investigating violations, it will organize public hearings in various capitals and advocate for the creation of an international tribunal to investigate these crimes.

In Havana, a delegation of the Ladies in White submitted to the Attorney General of the Republic a detailed analysis of the repression suffered by the women's movement from 2016 to 2017. The report was also presented to the delegation of the European Union (EU) and the Apostolic Nunciature, and in the next few days will be sent to the Military Prosecutor's Office, the State Council and various embassies.

In Washington the Citizens for Racial Integration Committee provided the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with a report covering the 187 cases of human rights violations of Afro-Cuban citizens. This report will serve as the basis for efforts by various activists in their dealings with Cuban authorities.

Also in the US, at the University of California Irvine (UCI) School of Law, a group of independent journalists and activists from the Island offered the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression first-hand information on violations of this right. The group met with teachers and students, and advised the Special Rapporteur to insist on his request for an authorization to visit Cuba.

Meanwhile, at its last meeting the UN Committee against Enforced Disappearances raised objections to the official Cuban report, called for the Island's authorities to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and to recognize the International Criminal Court. It also pointed out the fact that the Government does not currently recognize the legitimacy of any human rights organizations in Cuba.

All this activity comes in addition to the sustained work, on and off the Island, by organizations such as the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, Archivo Cuba, the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, the Cuban Human Rights Observatory, and Cubalex.

It is not just a question of documenting and publicizing each of the violations and crimes, but holding the regime's representatives and institutions accountable for their repressive and criminal record. The joint work by international and Cuban organizations, although not officially recognized, serves to pressure the repressors and serve notice that their crimes are being methodically recorded and will not go unpunished.

In recent months State-sponsored violence against opposition activists and independent journalists has increased, but also growing and strengthening are means and instruments to peacefully resist such violence, and to keep the truth about our most recent history alive.