14ymedio, Miami, 19 November 2016 –The non-governmental organization Amnesty International (AI) called on Friday to take “urgent action” to protect members of Cubalex, an NGO not recognized by the Cuban government against which there has been a resurgence of actions.
“Since September, the Cuban authorities have intimidated members of Cubalex, which provides free advice in Havana on legal matters and human rights,” AI said, detailing the raid on the organization’s headquarters where they confiscated laptops and documents,” according the Cubalex director Lartiza Diversent.
AI also mentioned the humiliating treatment of the security forces, including forcing at least one woman to disrobe. In addition, the Havana Provincial Prosecutor gave notice that Cubalex is under investigation regarding taxes.
AI also detailed the testimonies of two members of Cubalex who were summoned for interrogations, which lasted about an hour and 45 minutes. The authorities have also summoned people who have taken advantage of the legal advice offered by Cubalex.
“The director of Cubalex [Diversent] reported that in her recent travels she had been detained and interrogated several times at the airport. She believes that her home, which is used as a base for the activities of Cubalex, is under surveillance,” says the AI appeal.
The international organization calls on people to show solidarity with the members of Cubalex, by writing letters, email, faxes or tweets, to different Cuban officials on the island and abroad.
AI aims to sensitize international public opinion in order to allow members of Cubalex “and all other lawyers and human rights activists” to operate freely without harassment and intimidation.
Amnestey International also urges that the criminal justice system not be used abusively, nor that civil litigation be used to attack or harass human rights activists;
It calls for ensuring a safe and supportive environment in which it is possible to defend and promote human rights without fear of retribution, retaliation or intimidation.