Human Rights groups accuse Havana of still keeping 60 political prisoners
June 20, Havana: Cuba‘s leading human rights commission has accused the government of keeping 60 political prisoners.
According to a report published by Rueters, Cuba‘s Communist government has said it has no political prisoners, and that opponents mistakenly consider armed counter-revolutionaries and common criminals as political cases. The prisoners supposedly include, armed insurrectionists, hijackers and spies as well as peaceful political activists.
In addition to the 60 behind bars, another 11 former political prisoners are out on parole and unable to leave Cuba, the report said.
The Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation report was the first since Cuba released 53 people in connection with secret negotiations with the United states that led to last December’s historic detente.
The Americans considered those 53 were political prisoners and their release was crucial to a deal in which the two longtime nemeses agreed to restore diplomatic relations.
The commission estimated 103 political prisoners in Cuba a year ago. “There was a big reduction from last year because the government in Washington became involved in those 53 cases,” Elizardo Sanchez, head of the commission told journalists.
Apparently, at least 13 of the prisoners supposedly belong to the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), the largest dissident organization.
The Oslo Times and Agencies