30 October 1997
Further information on EXTRA 139/97 issued 17 October 1997 and
re-issued 21 October
Prisoners of Conscience / Possible POCs / Legal Concern
Ricardo GONZALEZ ALFONSO, journalist
Daula CARPIO MATA (f), member of the unofficial Partido Pro Derechos Humanos en Cuba (PPDHC), Party for Human Rights in Cuba
Jenny Julia GODOY CARPIO (f), 15, Daula Carpio Mata's daughter
Maria Felicia MATA MACHADO (f), 54, Daula Carpio Mata's mother
Roxanna CARPIO MATA (f), Daula Carpio Mata's sister
Ileana PENALVER DUQUE (f)
Vicente GARCIA RAMOS
Guillermo FARINAS CABEZAS
Lilian MENESES MARTINEZ (f)
Ivan LEMA ROMERO
Jose Antonio ALVARADO ALMEIDA
Jose Miguel LLERA BENITEZ
Danilo SANTOS MENDEZ
Arelis FLEITES MENDEZ
On 23 October 199, 10 of the members of the unofficial Partido Pro Derechos Humanos en Cuba (PPDHC), Party for Human Rights in Cuba, who had been arrested on 14 October 1997 in Santa Clara after going on hunger-strike, were brought to trial in the Santa Clara municipal court. They were charged with associating with others to commit a crime [asociacion para delinquir] and disobedience [desobediencia]. All 10 were convicted and received the following sentences: Ivan Lema Romero, Roxanna Carpio Mata and Jose Miguel Llera Benitez were sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment. Danilo Santos Mendez, Vicente Garcia Ramos and Jose Antonio Alvarado Almeida were sentenced to 18 months' 'correctional work with internment' [trabajo correccional con internamiento]. Lilian Meneses Martinez and Ileana Penalver Duque were sentenced to 18 months' 'correctional work without internment' [trabajo correccional sin internamiento] which means that they will have to attend a work camp (granja] during the day but may return home at night. Maria Felicia Mata Machado and Arelis Fleites Mendez were sentenced to 18 months' 'restricted liberty' [limitacion de libertad] and payment of a fine. They reportedly intend to appeal against the sentences.
The trial of Daula Carpio Mata, the provincial delegate of the PPDHC for Villa Clara province whose arrest on 9 October provoked the hunger-strike, took place on 29 October in the same court. She was reportedly accused of verbally attacking the prosecutor in a trial she had attended some time earlier as a member of the public. She was found guilty of the offence of 'assault', atentado, and sentenced to 16 months' 'correctional work with internment'.
Journalist Ricardo Gonzalez Alfonso had been released without charge on 18 October. Guillermo Farinas Cabezas was also released on 18 October. It is not clear whether he still faces any charge. Jenny Julia Godoy Carpio, aged 15, who had been taken to a minors' detention centre, was released on 20 October after agreeing to come off hunger strike.
Amnesty International is continuing to seek further information about the charges brought against Daula Carpio Mata and the other 10 PPDHC members. It is concerned that those imprisoned may be prisoners of conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
No further action is required from the Urgent Action network. Thank you to all those who sent appeals.