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Cuba: Detained Human Rights Defender Mr Antonio González Rodiles Charged with Resistance to Authority
Letter by William Gomes Salem-News.com
Mr. González Rodiles is only one such human rights defender and activist who has been targeted by this government
Antonio González Rodiles
(SALEM) - Five days ago, the family noted Cuban human rights defender Mr Antonio González Rodiles, learned that he is being charged with resistance to authority.
Antonio González Rodiles is the head of Estado de SATS, an independent project that aims to create a space for participation and debate through panel discussions, forums and other events that are filmed and broadcast on the Internet.
At this point, Mr. González Rodiles remains in provisional detention at Acosta police station. He was arrested in Havana in a wave of police beatings and arrests of human rights defenders on 7 and 8 November 2012.
He is only one such human rights defender and activist who has been targeted by this government that has long been criticized for abusive behavior toward political prisoners.
Our Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes urges Cuban authorities to I urge the authorities in immediately and unconditionally release human rights defender Antonio González Rodiles, as he believes that he is being held solely as a result of his legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights; he also seeks a guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders in Cuba are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals, and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.
Head of State and Government
Raúl Castro Ruz
Presidente de la República de Cuba
La Habana, Cuba
I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com.
I am also a visiting fellow at Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York, UK.
I came to know about the situation from Front Line Defenders.
On 14 November 2012, the family of human rights defender Mr Antonio González Rodiles were informed that he is to be charged with resistance to authority, as he remains in provisional detention at Acosta police station. Mr. González Rodiles was arrested in Havana in a wave of police beatings and arrests of human rights defenders on 7 and 8 November 2012. Antonio González Rodiles is the head of Estado de SATS, an independent project that aims to create a space for participation and debate through panel discussions, forums and other events that are filmed and broadcast on the Internet.
On 7 November 2012, lawyer and human rights defender Ms Yaremis Flores was arrested in connection with news articles in which she was critical of the Government’s response to Hurricane Sandy, as well reporting on deaths of prisoners in detention. As human rights defenders gathered at the police station to protest her detention, a number of others were also beaten up and arrested, including Antonio González Rodiles and Ms Laritza Diversent, lawyer and blogger. On 8 November 2012, blogger Ms Yoani Sanchez, blogger and writer Mr Ángel Santiesteban Prats, Mr Angel Moya Acosta, Mr Julio Aleaga, Mr Librado Linares, Mr Félix Navarro, Mr Iván Hernández Carrillo, Mr Eduardo Díaz Fleites and Mr Guillermo Fariñas Hernández were all arrested as they called for the release of those arrested on the previous day. In Camagüey, four more human rights defenders were detained and six further individuals arrested when they made their way to the police station to demand their release. After several days in detention, they were released, as were all of the human rights defenders held in Havana. However, Antonio González Rodiles remains in detention and members of his family were informed that the Public Prosecutor has requested that he be held in provisional detention on charges of resistance to authority, a charge that carries a sentence of between three months and one year in prison.
Many of those arrested are members of the “Demanda ciudadana por otra Cuba” (Citizens’ Demand for Another Cuba) campaign, a meeting for which was to be held in Antonio González Rodiles’ home. The campaign is calling on the Cuban Government to immediately put into practice the legal and political guarantees endorsed in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, through the ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the Cuban authorities signed in February 2008. In August 2012 the document “Demanda ciudadana por otra Cuba” was signed by hundreds of Cubans around the island and the diaspora, and then delivered to the headquarters of the National Assembly.
I believe that the arrests of the aforementioned human rights defenders and the continued detention of Antonio González Rodiles are directly related to their legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights. The regular prevention of peaceful gatherings by police, who block off access to the venues on the date of planned events, constitutes a clear denial of the right to freedom of assembly in Cuba. In addition, human rights defenders continue to face harassment and physical attacks from police around the island.
I urge the authorities in Cuba to:
1. Immediately and unconditionally release human rights defender Antonio González Rodiles, as I believe that he is being held solely as a result of his legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights;
2. Guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders in Cuba are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals, and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.
William Nicholas Gomes
Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com
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Salem-News.com Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes is a Bangladeshi journalist, human rights activist and author was born on 25 December, 1985 in Dhaka. As an investigative journalist he wrote widely for leading European and Asian media outlets.
He is also active in advocating for free and independent media and journalists’ rights, and is part of the free media movement, Global Independent Media Center – an activist media network for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate telling of the truth. He worked for Italian news agency Asianews.it from year 2009 to 2011, on that time he was accredited as a free lance journalist by the press information department of Bangladesh. During this time he has reported a notable numbers of reports for the news agency which were translated into Chinese and Italian and quoted by notable number of new outlets all over the world.He, ideologically, identifies himself deeply attached with anarchism. His political views are often characterized as “leftist” or “left-wing,” and he has described himself as an individualist anarchist.
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