U R G E N T A C T I O N A P P E A L
The following information is from Amnesty International's research headquarters in London, England. A.I. is an independent worldwide movement working for the international protection of human rights. It seeks the release of people detained because of their beliefs, color, sex, ethnic origin, language or religious creed, provided they have not used nor advocated violence. These are termed prisoners of conscience. It works for fair and prompt trials for all political prisoners and works on behalf of such people detained without charge or trial. It opposes the death penalty and torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of all prisoners without reservation.
UA 215/96 - Health concern / Possible Prisoner of Conscience / Legal concern
5 September 1996
Carlos Lores Martinez, who has not been allowed to see a lawyer since his arrest more than four months ago, is reported to be seriously ill in detention. He is said to be suffering from a hernia and to have lost 19 pounds (8-9 kilograms) in weight since arrest. He is currently being held in a punishment cell (it is not known why) at the Department of State Security, Departamento de Seguridad del Estado, in Pinar del Rio province. He has also reportedly been held with prisoners described as 'dangerous' and been moved in the middle of the night from cell to cell. Carlos Lores is believed to be under investigation on a charge of 'propaganda enemiga', 'enemy propaganda'.
Although Amnesty International has no further details of the conditions of Carlos Lores' detention, prisoners held in State Security facilities are usually permitted a visit from one relative once a week. However the prisoner is not permitted to discuss his/her case or his/her treatment with the relative and the visit is conducted in the presence of an official.
Carlos Lores was arrested on 3 May 1996 while he was giving a class at the Electronics Faculty of Pinar del Rio University. His brother, Silvio Lores Martinez, who is also an engineer, was arrested at the same time but was released on the 12 July without being charged. Both brothers have also been expelled from their jobs at the university.
Amnesty International is concerned about the state of health of Carlos Lores and believes that, if convicted solely of enemy propaganda, he would be a possible prisoner of conscience.
Prisoners held in State Security facilities are often held in cells with no natural light and subjected to constant artificial light, causing them to lose all notion of time. They are often taken from their cells at any time of the day or night for interrogation. Former detainees have frequently alleged that they were pressurized to sign false statements and that threats were made against their family members. Access to a lawyer in cases of crimes against state security is not permitted until the investigation period has been completed, often several months after arrest and sometimes only days or hours before the trial hearing. In recent weeks Amnesty International has received reports that other teachers have been expelled from their jobs and/or from the Communist Party because of their political views.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail letters: - expressing concern at reports that Carlos Lores is in a very poor state of health; - urging that he be given any necessary medical attention immediately; - urging that Carlos Lores Martinez be granted immediate and continuing access to a lawyer of his choice; - requesting that any charges brought against him in connection with his attempts to peacefully exercise his right to freedom of expression be dropped and that he be released immediately unless charged with a recognizable criminal offence.
APPEALS TO: (SALUTATION) 1) Attorney General: (Sr Fiscal General / Dear Attorney General) Dr Juan Escalona Reguera Fiscal General de la Republica Fiscalia General de la Republica San Rafael 3, La Habana Cuba [Telegrams: Fiscal General, Havana, Cuba] [Telexes: 307 511456 fisge] [Faxes: 011 53 7 333164]
2) Minister of the Interior: (Sr. Ministro / Dear Minister) General Abelardo Colome Ibarra Ministro de Interior Ministerio del Interior Plaza de la Revolucion La Habana Cuba [Telegrams: Ministro Interior, Havana, Cuba] 3) Department of State Security: (Sr. Director / Dear Sir) Sr. Director Cuartel General del Departamento de Seguridad del Estado Pinar del Rio Cuba [Telegrams: Director, Departamento de Seguridad del Estado, Pinar del Rio,Cuba]
Rector of Pinar del Rio University:
Centro Universitario de
Pinar del Rio
Marti 270 esq 27 de Noviembre
Pinar del Rio, Cuba
Cuba has no embassy in the US at present. to contact its interest in the US, write
Cuban Interests Section
Mr. Alfonso Fraga Perez
2630 - 16th St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
Please send appeals immediately. Check with the Colorado office between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm, Mountain Time, weekdays only, if sending appeals after October 20, 1996.
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