The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights celebrates that the Cuban activist Ariel Ruiz Urquiola will be able to address the plenary of the United Nations Human Rights Council and clarifies assistance offered in Geneva

The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights celebrates that the Cuban activist Ariel Ruiz Urquiola will be able to address the plenary of the United Nations Human Rights Council and clarifies assistance offered in Geneva

Cuba, UN
Washington D.C., June 26, 2020 – The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) is happy to hear that today, June 26, the Cuban scientist and activist Ariel Ruiz Urquiola has ended his hunger and thirst strike after reaching an agreement that allows him to speak against the Cuban government during the plenary session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. However, with respect to the article published by Cubanet on June 26, we would like to reaffirm and clarify the following points: Race and Equality is firmly committed to the defense and protection of the human rights of Cubans. We applaud that Ruiz Urquiola will be able to present his information to the plenary of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations,…
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“It hurts so much to think about when I was there”: Jacqueline Heredia’s story – former political prisoner of the Cuban State

“It hurts so much to think about when I was there”: Jacqueline Heredia’s story – former political prisoner of the Cuban State

Cuba, English
Women deprived of liberty in Cuba are subjected to inhumane treatment and violations of their basic human rights in prison. Jacqueline Heredia is living proof of this abuse. Her story also reveals the particular violence faced by two of Cuba’s most vulnerable groups: opositores [members of political opposition groups] and people living with HIV. Jacqueline, 40, is an activist who spent 16 months in San José prison, located on the outskirts of Havana. San José houses both male and female prisoners with HIV. “[The prison] is tough, and it never receives any attention. The treatment there is discriminatory, the guards and doctors treat the inmates as if they had the plague,” she says. Despite being housed in a prison specifically for those with HIV, Jacqueline never received anti-retroviral medications while…
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“No place is more cruel and devastating than the prisons in Cuba”: Yolanda Carmenate’s story – former political prisoner of the Cuban state

“No place is more cruel and devastating than the prisons in Cuba”: Yolanda Carmenate’s story – former political prisoner of the Cuban state

Cuba, English
Yolanda Carmenate has spent 30 years as a political activist, professed religious believer, and human rights defender in Cuba. For those same 30 years, she has been harassed, mistreated and persecuted countless times by Cuban authorities. When asked about the details, the 63-year old activist replies that there are “too many incidents to specify the exact dates.” But the numerous press reports, judicial records, and fines in Yolanda’s name are all souvenirs of her persecution. Currently, Yolanda, a native of Las Tunas province, is a member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) and promotes the campaign “Cuba Decides” (CubaDecide), which seeks greater democratic participation for Cuban citizens, especially through voting and election reforms. She is also a parishioner of San Jerónimo Catholic Church. In retaliation for her activism, she…
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 “My son was forced to leave the country because of my activism”: The story of  Leonor Reyno Borges, a Cuban activist, victim of the Cuban state.

 “My son was forced to leave the country because of my activism”: The story of  Leonor Reyno Borges, a Cuban activist, victim of the Cuban state.

Cuba, English
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link="https://youtu.be/38FJScb2H5o" align="center"][/vc_column] As a member of the independent civil society group Laura Pollán: Su Legado (Legacy of Laura Pollán), 55-year-old Leonor Reyno Borges had suffered years of abuse, harassment, and violence from Cuban authorities. But nothing she suffered as an activist could compare to having to say good-bye to her son. As a result of Cuba’s socioeconomic struggles and climate of repression, Leonor says, “hundreds of thousands of Cuban mothers live with the pain of separating from their children and not knowing when they will be able to hold them again, because so many have had to emigrate and flee to different parts of the world.” Leonor’s son, today 34 years old, had been targeted by police as a result of his mother’s activism. Police officers would come to…
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Cuban Political Prisoner Silverio Portal Contreras Facing Extreme Health Risks

Cuban Political Prisoner Silverio Portal Contreras Facing Extreme Health Risks

Cuba
Washington, D.C. May 18, 2020. The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights demands the Cuban government produce information on the situation of Silverio Portal Contreras, a political prisoner in the 1580 Prison in San Miguel de Padron, Havana. Lucinda Gonzalez Gomez, Mr. Portal Contreras’ spouse, has not heard from Mr. Portal Contreras since April 23 and fears for his life. Mr. Portal Contreras is an independent activist who has supported various movements in Cuba, including the Ladies in White and the Opposition Movement for a New Republic (MONR). Mr. Portal Contreras has been deprived of his liberty since July 2018, serving a four-year prison sentence for public disorder and contempt. He was arrested after participating in a protest against the Cuban government’s failure to address the collapsing of…
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