In Cuba, the blind lawyer and president of the Cuban Foundation for Human Rights, Juan Carlos González Leiva, denounced on February 21, 2006, from his home in the city of Ciego de Avila, that almost every day Cuban State Security is sending him "messages" with strangers who request membership in the Cuban Foundation for Human Rights, that he will soon suffer another violent act of repudiation. Rubber tubes and cables were given to Gonzalez Leiva by these strangers, as proof of the knowledge they have that he will soon be violently attacked in another act of repudiation being prepared against him.
This blind lawyer recently had to give away a dog he had acquired to protect himself since there was evidence the animal was going to be poisoned.
Gonzalez Leiva continues very active, providing support to the human rights movement in Cuba, denouncing the savage attacks committed by the political police against activists, independent journalists, and their families throughout the island. Those dissidents in the eastern provinces where there are no foreign embassies and press to protect them suffer the most.
In mid January, Gonzalez Leiva's house was under military seige for several days, where he remained confined without any water, electricity or telephone service. Mobs of up to 400 people brought by State Security surrounded his home, screaming governmental slogans, committing acts of vandalism, and beating activists. These violent assaults by Cuban State Police are widespread throughout the island; committed against those who express independent ideas.
Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva is proud of and determined to continue his peaceful activism and alerts the international community that anything that happens to him is the responsibility of Cuban State Security, Cuban Military and the Cuban government.
Background information :
On March 4, 2002, the blind lawyer was violently arrested, injured and imprisoned for carrying out a peaceful protest, along with nine other human rights activists, at a hospital in Ciego de Avila, in defense of an independent journalist who had been beaten by Cuban authorities.
Subsequent to a 26-month imprisonment where he suffered physical and mental tortures, Juan Carlos González Leiva, was brought to trial on April 26, 2004, and sentenced to four years in prison, accused of committing so called crimes of ‘public disorder’, ‘disrespect’, ‘disobedience’, and resistance’. He is presently serving the remainder of this sentence under house arrest.
Juan Carlos González Leiva, was arrested on August 6, 2005, at 2:30 in the afternoon and taken to the National Revolutionary Police Unit in the city of Florida, located in the province of Camagüey, when around 50 activists where holding prayers, celebrating an assembly to elect the board members of the Cuban Foundation for Human Rights, as well as discussing general topics related to civil society and the defense of human rights.
A repressive force comprised of approximately fifty policemen and State Security agents suddenly appeared at the farm “La Caridad” in the town of “Las Mercedes” in Florida and arrested Gonzalez Leiva, expelling all other activists present.
Juan Carlos González Leiva remained under arrest during six hours at said police unit in the city of Florida, and was later transferred to and released in Ciego de Avila. He was accused of being a counterrevolutionary who had committed illegal acts and was handed an official document forbidding him to ever set foot again in Florida; warning him that if he did so he would be tried and condemned to four years in prison for the crime of “being a potential social threat”.
Please join IDHAE in urging the Cuban authorities to respect freedom of expression and freedom of association in Cuba.
Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva - Address - Honorato del Castillo 154/ entre Republica y Cuba. Ciego de Avila, Cuba. Tel: + 53-33-222235
Testimony of Juan Carlos González Leiva obtained from Cuba. translated to English by the Coalition of Cuban-American Women in the United States. Telephone: 305-662-5947 / Fax: 305-740-7323.
Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/ airmail letters:
- expressing concern for human rights lawyer Juan Carlos González Leiva, continuously threatened ;
- asking the authorities to conform to the provisions of the Declaration on Humans Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular article 1, which states that "everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels";
- condemning the authorities' apparent criminalization of the right to freedom of expression, including the right to participate in peaceful demonstrations and urging to respect freedom of expression and freedom of association in Cuba.
APPEALS TO :
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.