World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Urgent concerns with US over treatment of 5 Cubans

Amnesty International raise "urgent concerns" with the US over treatment of five Cuban prisoners

Five Cuban men held in the US for the past 7 years on various charges of espionage were denied a "fair and impartial" trial according to a letter from Amnesty International made public today.

The letter, sent from the international human rights group to the US State Department, is a hard hitting condemnation of the United States' treatment of the five men and their families.

AI accuse the US of breaking international human rights standards by repeatedly denying visas for family members to visit the prisoners:

"the long-term, permanent denial of visits from their immediate families has caused substantial hardship to René González and Gerardo Hernández beyond the penalties imposed.....this measure is unnecessarily punitive and contrary both to standards for the humane treatment of prisoners and to states’ obligation to protect family life."

The letter from Susan Lee, Amnesty International Americas Regional Program Director, also questions the fairness of the original Miami based trial of the Five

"Such denial of family visits for convicted prisoners would represent a substantial hardship in any case. This is of even more urgent concern in the present cases given the serious questions which have been raised about the fairness of the convictions."

In August 2005, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the convictions of the prisoners and ordered a retrial. This was based on a finding that the pervasive community prejudice against the Cuban government and its agents in the trial venue of Miami, and the publicity and events surrounding the trial, created a situation where they were unable to obtain a fair and impartial hearing.

Rob Miller, Director of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign said

"When we took Olga Salanueva, wife of René González, and their daughter Ivette to see Amnesty International in December 2005, it was clear that the case raised serious human rights concerns and also questioned the US legal system and its independence from the US administration. These men have been imprisoned for 7 years now despite the fact that the US courts have found the original trial to be unfair. They should be released immediately."

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news