The Risks of Defending Human Rights in Cuba / Cubalex
Cubalex, 4 April 2017 — In the cycles of the United Nations Universal
Periodic Review (UPR), held in 2009 and 2013, the Cuban State rejected
32 recommendations calling for an end to repression against human rights
defenders and lifting restrictions that impede freedom of speech,
opinion, association, assembly and peaceful demonstration.
Members of the Human Rights Council suggested that the state ensure a
safe, free and independent environment for human rights activities,
without the risk of harassment, intimidation, persecution or violence.
They recommended that the state refrain from abusing the criminal code
to repress and harass people. In addition, all necessary measures should
be taken including a review of the legislation, to ensure that all cases
of aggression against human rights activists are investigated by
independent and impartial bodies.
The Cuban State objected to these recommendations, on the grounds that
they were inconsistent with the exercise of the state’s right to
self-determination; they claimed that this would imply implementing a
policy conceived by a foreign superpower, with the aim of destroying
Cuba’s political, economic, and social system.
However, the government claims that, in the country, human rights
defenders are protected, on an equal footing, and act with total freedom
and without any restriction that is incompatible with international
human rights instruments.
The state adds that there are the millions of people who in Cuba are
grouped in thousands of organizations, and who have all the guarantees
for the exercise of their rights. They do not need different protection
from that of anyone with Cuban citizenship. They are not a threat, they
are not in danger, nor do they face the possibility of an act in
violation of the conduct of their activities.
Source: The Risks of Defending Human Rights in Cuba / Cubalex –
Translating Cuba –