HAVANA TIMES (dpa) — Award-winning Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez filed complaint against Cuba before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on Friday over her government’s repeated refusal to grant her an exit visa.
The complaint came after Cuban authorities “refused de facto” the 20 requests to travel out of Cuba that Sanchez has filed since 2007, her lawyers told reporters in Washington after filing the complaint.
She claims Cuba’s inaction on her requests to travel were the same as denials.
On all those occasions, Sanchez – an outspoken critic of Cuba’s communist authorities – planned to travel to other countries after being invited there and being granted the necessary entry visas.
In Cuba, people need to request an exit visa in order to be allowed to leave the country.
Sanchez’s blog Generacion Y has in recent years been awarded numerous prizes abroad that she has been unable to collect in person for lack of the necessary exit permit.
This, according to her lawyer Bjorn Arp, is a violation of the right to be able to leave one’s country as contemplated in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.
Sanchez’s lawyers also filed a request for precautionary measures in her favor, arguing that police and social pressure on her and other dissidents has increased in recent months and they fear for her physical well-being.
The IACHR was likely to take several months to assess the complaint and move to admit or dismiss it. However, the commission’s precautionary measures might be announced within days, Sanchez’s lawyers said.
The Cuban government has accused Sanchez of assisting the US government in its effort to promote regime change in Cuba. Despite highly serious public accusations of aiding the enemy, Sanchez has never been charged of any crime.