Human Rights Organization Enables People to Make Free Protest Calls Over Internet
HACKENSACK, N.J, AUGUST 6, 1998 The Digital Freedom Network launched an international campaign today for the unconditional release of four Cuban dissidents, who have been unlawfully imprisoned for more than a year.
Felix Bonne, Rene Gomez, Vladimiro Roca, and Marta Beatriz Roque, members of a Cuban human rights organization called the Internal Dissidence Working Group, were arrested in July 1997 after publishing a document called "The Homeland Belongs to Us All." The document urged the Cuban government to end government corruption, liberalize Cuba's economy, and improve human rights.
"These people should be released immediately," said Bobson Wong, the executive director of the Digital Freedom Network (DFN), an international free speech and human rights organization dedicated to publishing censored material on the Internet.
To encourage people to protest the dissidents' imprisonment, DFN is allowing people to make a limited amount of free phone calls to international officials over the Internet using a multimedia PC and Internet telephony software. The software can be downloaded from DFN's Web site at www.dfn.org/news/callcuba.html.
"This is a way for people to use the Internet to make a difference in the world," Wong said.
DFN's Web site also contains the complete text of "The Homeland Belongs to Us All" and other information about the four dissidents, including a letter from prison written by Roque.
"Their essay condemns tyranny and asks for a government that represents all Cubans. Ironically, Fidel Castro made the same points in his famous 1953 speech 'History Will Absolve Me.' He spoke those words at his trial after being arrested by the Cuban government," Wong said. "Castro should release these jailed dissidents just as the Cuban government released him when he was in prison."
DFN is dedicated to publishing the censored works of individuals who have suffered serious human rights violations, such as physical torture or unfair imprisonment. DFN's Web site (www.dfn.org) contains restricted material from 18 countries in four continents. DFN works with other free speech and human rights organizations, such as the Committee to Protect
Journalists, Index on Censorship, and Reporters sans Frontieres.
FACT SHEET ABOUT THE JAILED CUBAN DISSIDENTS
THE WORKING GROUP DISSIDENTS
"THE HOMELAND BELONGS TO US ALL"
Digital Freedom Network