Posts Tagged ‘Organization of American States’

Cuba: reprisals against youth activists after meeting OAS Secretary General

June 22, 2016

That reprisals also take place in a regional human rights context is made clear by a report on 21 June 2016 by the New-York based Human Rights Foundation (HRF). It condemns the arbitrary arrest of activists Oscar Luis Milian and Yoandrys Gutiérrez, members of the Cuba-based youth movement Mesa de Diálogo de la Juventud Cubana. Both activists were detained for six hours last week at José Martí Airport in Havana when returning to the country after taking part in meetings with the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro. The meetings — organized by the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy within the framework of the 46th General Assembly of the OAS in Santo Domingo — brought together human rights and democracy activists from all over the hemisphere.

Cuba: Activists Arrested After Meeting With OAS Secretary General

Bringing notepads and pens with slogans in favor of democracy and human rights into Cuba has always been considered a ‘subversive’ activity by Cuba’s 57-year-old dictatorship,” said Javier El-Hage, HRF’s chief legal officer. “Oscar and Yoandrys join an endless list of brave activists who are treated like criminals for daring to bring information from the outside world to ordinary citizens in Cuba. If Raúl Castro really wants to show tolerance and openness, he should begin by dismantling the regime’s repressive structure that prohibits people to think for themselves.

Milian and Gutiérrez were released six hours after their arrival in the Cuban capital and were never informed of the reason for their arrest.

Source: Cuba: Activists Arrested After Meeting With OAS Secretary General | News | Human Rights Foundation

Group of human rights defenders requests IACHR for thematic hearing on California prison situation

August 25, 2013

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights 2013 by OAS, web

(Commissioners of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights – Photo: OAS)

By letter of 23 August 2013, addressed to Dr. Emilio Álvarez Icaza, executive secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a group of human rights NGOs [National Religious Campaign Against Torture, California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement, California Prison Focus, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, The Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights, Disability Rights Legal Center, Stanford International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic, American Friends Service Committee (Western Region), ACLU National Prison Project, Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes, Fair Chance Project, Center for Constitutional Rights, Justice Now, National Lawyers Guild, San Diego Committee for Prisoners Rights, The Real Cost of Prisons Project and the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law] requested a thematic hearing with a focus on people incarcerated in California prisons. Read the rest of this entry »

Historic tribute to Human Rights Defenders by Uruguay

December 13, 2012

This blog – understandably – published a lot information critical of Governments. It is with pleasure to report something positive done by a State. On 12 December 2012, the Mission of Uruguay to the Organization of American States (OAS) hosted a public and ceremonial tribute to the Human Rights Defenders who took part in the struggle for human rights in the South American country during the military dictatorship that took place between 1973 and 1985. The public recognition – by name – of human rights defenders even 30 years later sets an example worth following by other countries with similar experience.

“We have some debts. Among them one of a moral order with the citizens of the United States as well as our Latin America. Today we want to express a heartfelt appreciation for the generous, lucid and courageous actions of solidarity in defense of human rights, in our country´s darkest hour,” said the Ambassador of Uruguay to the OAS, Milton Romani, who led the ceremony, held in the Patio Azteca of the hemispheric organization’s main building in Washington, DC.

The event was called “Teacher Elena Quinteros Day,” referring to the Uruguayan teacher who was abducted by the Uruguayan military inside the Embassy of Venezuela in Uruguay in June 1976 and whose arrest led to the severance of diplomatic relations between Montevideo and Caracas. The people honored by the Uruguayan mission to the OAS were: the Reverend Joe Eldridge, former Director of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and who lead the campaign by Julio Castro (first official case of a “disappeared” person presented before the OAS ); Doctor Robert Goldman and Jo Marie Griesgraber, who took part in the first humanitarian mission to Uruguay to confirm the allegations of human rights violations; Louise Popkin, who accompanied the former Uruguayan legislator Zelmar Michelini (murdered in Argentina in 1976) in his complaints and (former leader of the National Party of Uruguay) Wilson Ferreira Aldunate in his complaint to the U.S. Congress; Juan Mendez of Americas Watch (predecessor to Human Rights Watch); and Patricia “Polly” Pittman for their support of the exiles.

The Uruguayan mission to the OAS also paid tribute to the now deceased Julio Ramos, former Ambassador of Venezuela in Uruguay. The current Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the OAS, Roy Chaderton received the distinction on his behalf. In their addresses, Ambassador Chaderton and the rest of the honorees recalled their ties with Uruguay. http://www.flickr.com/photos/oasoea/8268180860/

“The lessons of this chapter are part of our guiding principles. These are not things of the past. They are present as a challenge to all of humanity facing injustice. Our ability to be outraged, to be supportive of one another, because inequalities are committed in the name of noble principles. In the name of peace, freedom and of democracy or revolution, or invoking reasons of state or religious reasons,” said Ambassador Romani. The Permanent Representative of Uruguay to the OAS said the victims’ perspective is “the only one that allows us to remember that “all human beings, born free and equal in dignity and rights and endowed as they are with reason and conscience, should act in a brotherly way toward one other.”

At the end of his speech, the Uruguayan diplomat said: “We have a strong commitment to the strengthening of the Inter-American Human Rights System. We affirm that making the system universal is urgent so that all states be equal before the law, that the autonomy and independence of all the organs are its fortresses.”

The video of the event is available on VIMEO: here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org