UN Observer Shunned by Cuba

HAVANA TIMES, June 9 — The UN special rapporteur on torture, Manfred Nowak, said he was disappointed on Wednesday that no agreement has been reached with Cuban authorities for a visit to the island.

Cuba’s office at the UN responded with surprise to Nowak’s announcement while discarding the need for “an independent assessment of the human rights situation in the country.”

Nowak said he was invited to visit Cuba back in February 2009 but that no mutually acceptable date could be reached, reported the BBC.

“There has not been one case of extra-judicial execution or of forced disappearance in Cuba…  Few countries can boast of the results achieved in Cuba in the treatment of people in prison and their full reinsertion into society,” reads an official government statement.

3 thoughts on “UN Observer Shunned by Cuba

  • The Cubans immediately denied this report and said they would be willing to work with Nowak.

    June 9, 2010
    Cuba rejects allegation that it won’t let U.N. investigate if torture is used on the island

    Text of Cuba’s official response to a statement made by an official of the United Nations’ Council on Human Rights, to the effect that Cuba would not allow him to research allegations of torture on Cuban prisoners. For background, click here. Translation by The Miami Herald.

    Cuba expresses its surprise over the press communiqué made public by the Special Rapporteur on Torture of the Council on Human Rights, Mr. Manfred Nowak, on June 9, in which he expressed his “profound disappointment after being informed by the Government of Cuba that it could not agree on a date for the mission of investigation into the country before the end of [his] mandate on Oct. 30, 2010.”

    The press communiqué that was published does not reflect the permanent effort made by the Cuban authorities to facilitate the visit and the exchanges made between the two parties in a climate of trust. In the most recent contacts made with Mr. Nowak, he was reassured of the validity of the invitation made [by Cuba] and the willingness to continue to work to make it possible at a mutually convenient date.

    Cuba does not need an objective evaluation “of the situation in the country.” Cuba seeks no endorsement. In Cuba, there has never been a single case of extrajudicial execution or forcible disappearance. Our achievements in matters of penal justice and crime prevention are well recognized. Few countries can exhibit Cuba’s results in the treatment of sanctioned people and their full reinsertion into society.

    Cuba reiterates its willingness to continue to cooperate both with Mr. Nowak and the rest of the experts appointed to enforce the mandates of the Council on Human Rights established on nondiscriminatory bases.
    This decision will remain firm, even though our country continues to be the object of a policy of hostility and genocidal blockade applied by successive U.S. administrations, and of the recent escalation of a ferocious political and media campaign against Cuba by the international reactionaries.
    Geneva, June 9, 2010.

    June 09, 2010

  • “It’s interesting how the UN insists on inspecting Cuba’s prisons, while being locked out of Guantanamo.”

    The UN was invited but insisted on intervieing prisoners (something I wouldn’t have a problem with) but the U.S. refused to allow it. So the UN cancelled it’s own visit. The U.S. did not deny them entry. Very different from Cuba where NEITHER the Red Cross (which HAS been to Gitmo) or the UN are allowed access of any kind. Gitmo is a resort comared to Castro’s prisons.

  • It’s interesting how the UN insists on inspecting Cuba’s prisons, while being locked out of Guantanamo. For that matter, they also ignore conditions in many US Prisons that include 23 hour lock down in isolation cells, etc. And, we are all aware [or should be] of CIA prisons in allied coutries in Europe, Asia and Africa. where ‘terrorists’ are held. When will the UN inspect the prisons in Israel and Egypt?

    The hypocrisy of the UN is mind-boggling: sanctions and blockades against Iran and Cuba at the insistence of the Empire; yet totally ignoring abuses on the part of the known Nuclear Nations like Pakistan and Israel. How many countries will the US invade before it is bankrupted financially? It’s already morally bankrupt…

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