Fate of jailed demonstrators will determine EU-Cuba negotiations

Fate of jailed demonstrators will determine EU-Cuba negotiations

The European Union’s special representative for human rights met on Friday with the families of protesters jailed in Cuba for taking part in anti-government protests.

Eamonn Gilmore told reporters in Cuba that the situation of prisoners of war was the main issue discussed during the visit, and that it was part of the 2017 EU-Cuba agreement calling for political dialogue and cooperation. .

The visit comes more than two years after unprecedented anti-government protests that saw thousands of Cubans take to the streets chanting “Freedom!” and “We’re Hungry!” in response to economic conflicts such as food and medicine shortages.

The city of Havana said around 500 protesters had been jailed, some with sentences of up to 25 years, but human rights groups put the number at 700.

The Irish diplomat said on Friday that he had met with “relatives of the detainees” and discussed with authorities issues related to “the arrests that have been made and the sentences that have been imposed, some of which are indeed very long.”

Gilmore also spoke with President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Friday, saying the Cuban leader “ratified Cuba’s firm commitment to the full realization of all human rights.”

Díaz-Canel said that while “differences in positions on some of the issues raised have been evident in previous occasions,” “areas of coincidence that offer opportunities for cooperation have also been identified.” Ta.

Gilmore also said he spoke with authorities on Sunday about the death of a protester who had been jailed since the demonstration.

The 37-year-old man died at a Havana hospital where he was transferred from prison, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Parents of jailed protesters told AFP on Thursday that they had asked Gilmore to visit the prison where their children are being held.

“I want to speak for my three children and everyone,” said Emilio Roman, a father of two sons, 25 and 18, and a 23-year-old daughter. The two older brothers were sentenced to 10 years in prison, and the youngest to five years. .

Cuba holds about 1,000 political prisoners, including those punished in the 2021 protests, according to human rights groups and the U.S. Embassy.

Source: guardian.ng

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