Sunday, 6 February 2011

Open letter to Obama: Free the Cuban Five

Free the Cuban Five, President Obama
Source: Pardon for the Five.

Dear Mr. President,

In 1998, five Cuban men – Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, and René González – were arrested on serious charges while monitoring extremist anti-Cuba groups in southern Florida. Tried in Miami in 2001, they received sentences adding up collectively to four life sentences plus 77 years. They have nearly exhausted their appeals.

Amnesty International recently expressed "serious doubts about the fairness and impartiality of their trial.” In its appeal to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, that group stated: “No evidence was presented against them at trial to show that the accused had actually handled or transmitted a single classified document or piece of information.”

Amnesty International cited the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention that in 2005 judged U.S. judicial shortcomings to be “of such gravity that they confer the deprivation of liberty of these five persons an arbitrary character.”

Amnesty International is now seeking “review of the case by the US executive authorities through the clemency process or other appropriate means.”

I respectfully call upon you and your administration to take prompt action leading to the release of the Five Cuban prisoners and their return to Cuba.


See also Cuban 5 fact sheet - RATB.