Washington, D.C., July 13, 2010—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) welcomes the decision by the government of Cuba to release seven persons who had been deprived of their liberty since 2003. According to the information received, those released were taken to Spain, and others reportedly may be released as well.

In October 2006, the IACHR adopted its Report on the Merits in Case 12.476, in which it recommended that the State of Cuba immediately and unconditionally release 75 dissidents, members of the opposition, human rights activists, and independent journalists who had been arrested in March 2003 for exercising their right to freedom of expression. All the dissidents who were released are victims named in that Report on the Merits.

The IACHR encourages the State of Cuba to continue with the process of release of all political prisoners. Likewise, the Commission reiterates that, as it recommended in the Merits Report in Case 12.476, Cuba must overturn their convictions and bring its procedural norms in line with applicable international standards for due process, so that persons who turn to the courts to determine their rights and responsibilities can count on the minimum legal guarantees to exercise their defense.

The IACHR calls upon the State to undertake all necessary reforms in accordance with its international human rights obligations and to implement a process of democratic normalization. The IACHR remains at the disposal of the State of Cuba to assist in this process.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing a particular country, and who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.

Useful links
Press Release 33/10: IACHR Concerned about Situation of Guillermo Fariñas in Cuba
Press Release 22/10: IACHR Condemns Death of Orlando Zapata in Cuba
Merits Report, Case No. 12.476, Cuba
IACHR Press Office
IACHR Web site

(Source: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights).

for the freedom of all cuban political prisoners
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