Amnesty International accuses the US Government of ‘Stacking the case’ against the Cuban Five

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New report published today by Voices for the Five

In a newly published report Amnesty International (AI), the worldwide human rights organisation, has accused the US Government of ‘stacking’ the case against the Cuban Five. The Cuban Five are five Cuban men arrested in Miami in 1998 while attempting to stop terrorist attacks against the Cuban people.

The AI report spotlights a series of direct US Government interventions in the build up and during the trial of the Five, thus ensuring a successful prosecution, but at the same time making a fair trial impossible.
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Angela Wright, Amnesty International Secretariat, said

“The new evidence that has emerged since the trial – of journalists being paid to plant prejudicial stories against the accused during the trial – also raises concern about equality of arms in that the government, unknown to the defendants, were stacking the case in the media – and also as we have seen very possibly in the court-room itself – in the prosecution’s favour.”

The full report is published today by Voices for the Five, an international coalition of campaigners, solidarity groups, legal professionals, human rights organisations, politicians, trade unions and international personalities, fighting for freedom and justice for the Cuban Five.

http://www.voicesforthefive.com/downloads/AI-Cuban-5-Presentation-International-Commission-April-2014.pdf,

Rob Miller, Director of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign said

“The payment of journalists to write stories affecting the case, the obstructions on the Five to obtain legal counsel and the fact that procedural and other rights were not afforded to both the defence and prosecution in equal measure, show that the US Government was busy orchestrating a series of actions designed to affect the trial process. In the view of Amnesty International this clearly shows that the Five had little prospect of receiving any justice and little chance of a ‘fair trial’.”

The right to a fair trial is a fundamental principle under international law which makes clear that a trial must not only be fair but must be seen to be fair. It is guaranteed under Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 14 of the ICCPR, a key human rights treaty to which the United States itself is a signatory.

Amnesty International gave the formal presentation of the report to the London International Commission of Inquiry into the case of the Cuban Five in March 2014 alongside presentations from almost 20 witnesses including lawyers, academics and Cuban Five family members.

Over 6000 people and organisations from more than 70 countries have already added their messages of support to Voices for the Five including over 200 personalities from across the globe including actors Emma Thompson and Martin Sheen, writers John Le Carre, Fernando Morais and Gunther Grass as well as politicians, academics and religious leaders.

Notes for editors:

1 The full Amnesty International report is published here http://www.voicesforthefive.com/downloads/AI-Cuban-5-Presentation-International-Commission-April-2014.pdf,

2 The Cuban Five are Gerardo Hernandez, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero and René González – five Cuban men arrested in Miami in 1998 while attempting to stop terrorist attacks against the Cuban people. They were arrested in Miami in September 1998, where they were illegally held in solitary confinement for 17 months and charged with conspiracy to commit espionage. An unfair trial resulted in terms of between 15 years and double life. More information http://www.voicesforthefive.com/cuban-five/,

3 Voices for the Five is the campaigning website of an international coalition of campaigners, solidarity groups, legal professionals, human rights organisations, politicians, trade unions and international personalities, fighting for freedom and justice for the Cuban Five (or Miami Five as they are known in Britain). http://www.voicesforthefive.com/,

4 A full list of personalities endorsing Voices for the Five can be seen at http://www.voicesforthefive.com/endorsers/,

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