UN rights chief slams Cuba for activist arrests
AFP · 16 Dec 2015, 09:42
Published: 16 Dec 2015 09:42 GMT+01:00
- Pardon hopes rise for jailed Saudi blogger (29 Nov 15)
- UAE activist wins human rights 'Nobel prize' (07 Oct 15)
- 'Crime charge' against Bahrain A-G in Zurich (15 Sep 15)
- UN rights chief slams French Roma expulsions (11 Sep 15)
Cuba marked Human Rights Day on December 10th by detaining opposition activists or barring them from leaving their homes to prevent protests against the Communist authorities, according to rights groups.
"There have been many hundreds of arbitrary arrests and short-term detentions — which in my view amount to harassment — in the past six weeks alone," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a statement released on Tuesday on the organization's website.
"These often take place without a warrant and ahead of specific meetings or demonstrations, and seem to be aimed at preventing people from exercising their right to freedom of expression and to peaceful assembly," he added.
This showed "an extraordinary disdain for the importance of human rights on the part of the Cuban authorities", Zeid said, calling for the release of those "who may still be in detention as a consequence of the legitimate exercise of their rights".
The top American diplomat in Havana, Charge d'Affaires Jeffrey DeLaurentis, said Tuesday that Cuba could do more to liberalize its economy and political system, ahead of the Thursday anniversary of the two countries' announcing they would begin to normalize relations.