Report raises concern over human rights in Cuba - UN spokesman

17 February 2004

A new report by the Personal Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Cuba states that political dissidents sentenced to heavy prison sentences in the country are being held in very trying physical and psychological conditions, a UN spokesman said today.

"French judge Christine Chanet, notes with concern that her calls for clemency in these cases have gone unheard," Fred Eckhard told the press in New York. "In addition, she is critical of the April 2003 execution of three people accused of hijacking a ferry in spite of Cuba's moratorium on the use of the death penalty."

Ms. Chanet calls on the Cuban Government to stop depriving the population of its basic rights and freedoms and appeals for a number of measures to be taken in this regard.

The report, which will be submitted to the next session of the UN Human Rights Commission, also provides broad context for its analysis, noting "positive aspects" of the realization of economic, social and cultural rights in Cuba, especially in the areas of health and education.


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