Cuba: Ban calls for reconciliatory measures in wake of release of political detainees

19 July 2010

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on Cuban authorities to take more reconciliatory measures on human rights and the rule of law in the wake of the recent release of dozens of political detainees in the Caribbean island nation.

Responding to a question from journalists in Geneva, where he had been addressing the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Mr. Ban said the phased release of 52 detainees this month was “welcome news and encouraging.”

The Secretary-General discussed the issue late last week with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos during a visit to Madrid. Mr. Moratinos and the Roman Catholic Church reportedly helped arrange the deal under which the detainees are being sent to Spain after their release.

Today Mr. Ban told journalists that “we expect there should be more reconciliatory measures taken by the Cuban authorities. Establishing rule of law and respecting human rights – those are fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter and that is what I would encourage.”

Earlier this month Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, welcomed the release of the detainees as well, saying she hoped it would be “the start of a series of significant steps to advance the protection of human rights in Cuba.”


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UN rights chief welcomes Cuba's planned release of political detainees

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