UN Commissioner for HR on Cuba’s Political Prisoners

Elizabeth Throssell. Foto: ONU.

By El Toque

HAVANA TIMES – “Everyone who has been arrested for exercising these rights [assembly and peaceful protest in Cuba] should be released immediately,” UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Elizabeth Throssell stated during a press conference in Geneva, on November 16, 2021. 

Mexican journalist Gabriela Sotomayor was the one who asked Throssell about the Office’s position on the situation in Cuba after Archipielago called for a peaceful protest on November 15th. 

Throssell also said that rights to freedom of expression, opinion, and assembly “are fundamental cornerstone rights in every society, restrictions that are imposed on rights of assembly, as well as the rights of freedom of expression and opinion, need to comply with principles of need and proportionality and have to be set out in the Law,” which is lacking in Cuban legislation.

In her statements, she expressed the Office of the High Commissioner’s concern over the arrest of people who exercise “their right to assembly and peaceful protest,” and advocated for the respect of due process for those who have been arrested, so that they have access to habeas corpus, a defense and are able to communicate with their families.

“In basic terms, the State has the obligation to create and guarantee an environment that works to protect human rights,” Throssell ended.

Attacks on activists, journalists and members of Cuban civil society who support or are members of Archipielago continued and were stepped up on 15N. Instead of protecting its citizens’ rights to protest freely, the Cuban State has stopped them from exercising this right and repressed any expression of dissent.

Hate rallies, interrogation, arbitrary arrests, sieges, harassment on social media along with other acts of persecution and the militarization of Cuba’s streets were State Security and the National Revolutionary Police’s strategy to prevent protests in the country.

The NGO Cubalex recorded 53 incidents where Cuban citizens’ human rights were violated by the Government on this day. Up until now, 56 arrests have been reported linked to 15N. Out of this total, 25 have been released and 9 were missing, including Daniela Rojo, one of Archipielago’s admins. Social media users discovered that Rojo’s Facebook profile had disappeared.

On November 11th, Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly reminded the Cuban government that harassing and intimidating organizers of the protest was a violation of its duties as the State.

Michelle Bachelet’s office said that it would remotely monitor “the human rights situation in Cuba”; because her organization has no power to monitor events on Cuban soil.

Two months before, on September 14th, Bachelet had presented an annual report to the Human Rights Council. At that time, the High Commissioner said nothing about the human rights violations committed by the Cuban Government…

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.


4 thoughts on “UN Commissioner for HR on Cuba’s Political Prisoners

  • November 19, 2021 at 8:36 pm
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    “Everyone who has been arrested for exercising these rights [assembly and peaceful protest in Cuba] should be released immediately,” UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Elizabeth Throssell”

    Good luck with that it’s a criminal tyranny without freedom.
    They do whatever it takes to keep their unelected tyrants in power permanently.

  • November 19, 2021 at 11:57 am
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    VV under-estimates the talents of MININT goons. He/she assumes that one up-side down car is a consequence of actions by protestors. That in itself demonstrates a degree of innocence of the Cuban reality. It is similar to the police finding small packets of drugs upon the people that they choose to search.

    But VV can rest assured that his/her support of the regime is appreciated by it. Why not question the jailing of people for the crime – for in Cuba it is a crime – of merely criticizing the government?

  • November 19, 2021 at 4:37 am
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    So much talk of the “peaceful protesters” from July, yet the first picture I saw in the news was one with a police car turned upside down. And weren’t there some throwing rocks at the police as well? So the real question, that I think neither side can answer truthfully, is: How many got arrested for “just protesting peacefully” and how may for actually committing crimes that would be just as punishable in western democracies?

  • November 18, 2021 at 7:03 pm
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    Talk of human rights related to the communist regime in Cuba, is futile. Human rights reflect the rights of the individual and as such are a constriction upon the concept of creating the “mass” an essential part of the Marx/Engels/Lenin communist ideal.

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