14ymedio, Havana, May 24, 2018 — Cuban dissident Moisés Leonardo Rodríguez and the director of the online video program “Lente Cubano,” Iliana Hernández, filed a complaint on Wednesday with the Office of the Attorney General after several activists were barred from travelling.
Hernández and Rodríguez along with Félix Navarro, a Black Spring political prisoner, compiled the names of every dissident who has been prevented from leaving the country since the Emigration Reform law was passed in January of 2013. They submitted the list along with their complaint.
Rodríguez stated that Corriente Martiana, a disident organization which he leads, also forwarded the cases to the United Nations’ special representative for human rights.
The attorney general’s office is required to respond to the the activists’ complaint within 60 days as prescribed by the Cuban constitution, which states that “every citizen has the right to submit complaints and petitions to the authorities and to receive attention or a pertinent response within the appropriate timeframe.”
The plaintiffs point to the constitution as the legal basis for their complaint, noting that several of the people denied permission have turned to government agencies but that “in no instance” have they been given a reason for the denial of an exit visa.
The complaint alleges this is a limitation “on freedom of movement,” which they add is “a right proclaimed in Article 13 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” to which Cuba is a sponsor and signatory.
On the same day the complaint was submitted, the reporter Boris González and the attorney Wilfredo Vallín, president of the Legal Association of Cuba, were denied permission to travel by officials at José Martí International Airport in Havana.
“We were traveling to Mexico for a meeting of the Roundtable for United Democratic Action (MUAD) but the authorities denied us that option,” he said.
The official ban on the right of dissidents to travel is one more in a long list of abuses which include arbitrary arrest and confiscation of personal property as well as raids on their homes and the filing criminal charges against them.
Recently, the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights denounced Cuban authorities for, on several occasions, blocking human rights activists from travel outside the country. It also denounced measures that have caused many passengers to miss their flights, making them unable to attend meetings abroad, some of which had been organized by United Nations agencies.
It also urged the Cuban authorities to respect the universal right to freedom of expression and movement, and to ensure that human rights activists and representatives of civil society do not face difficulties leaving the country.
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