UN Authority Figures

Human Rights Council's Working Group on Comminications: Miguel Alfonso Martínez of Cuba

Jorge Luis García Pérez "Antúnez"
" "Former political prisoner Jorge Luis García Pérez "Antúnez" [who served sentences for his opposition to the Cuban regime totaling 17 years]; his wife, Iris, who has had her own troubles with the Castro dictatorship; and a third dissident, Ana Margarita Perdigón, were arrested early morning [August 22] in Havana... Their whereabouts were unknown" until August 24 when "Antúnez, his wife Iris and Perdigón were kicked out of Havana" ( Antúnez, wife arrested (updated), August 24, 2008, Uncommon sense)

Mission of the Working Group on Communications: "The members of WGC shall decide on the admissibility of a communication, and assess the merits of the allegations of violations, including whether the communication alone or in combination with other communications appear to reveal a consistent pattern of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. WGC shall provide the Working Group on Situations (WGS) with a file containing all admissible communications as well as recommendations thereon... WGC may decide to dismiss a case." (Resolution 5/1 Institution-building of the United Nations Human Rights Council )

Term of office: 2008-2011

Cuba's Record on human rights:
"The government continued to deny its citizens their basic human rights and committed numerous, serious abuses...There were at least 240 political prisoners and detainees held at year's end. As many as 5,000 citizens served sentences for "dangerousness," with no more specific criminal behavior charged. The following human rights problems were reported: unlawful killings; killings, beatings, and abuse of detainees and prisoners, including human rights activists, carried out with impunity; harsh and life threatening prison conditions, including denial of medical care; harassment, beatings, and threats against political opponents by government recruited mobs, police, and state security officials; arbitrary arrest and detention of human rights advocates and members of independent professional organizations; denial of fair trial, and interference with privacy, including pervasive monitoring of private communications ...[O]fficial surveillance of private and family affairs by government controlled organizations, such as the CDRs [Committees for the Defense of the Revolution], remained pervasive. The government employed physical and electronic surveillance against nonviolent political opponents and interfered in the lives of citizens...State Security routinely read correspondence coming from abroad. Most letters from overseas were delivered with the envelope obviously torn and resealed; many were placed in a different envelope. State Security monitored domestic and overseas telephone calls, correspondence, and conversations with foreigners...[T]he government did not allow criticism of the revolution or its leaders. Laws against antigovernment propaganda, graffiti, and disrespect of officials impose penalties of between three months and one year in prison; criticism of the president or members of the ANPP [National Assembly of the People's Government] or Council of State is punishable by three years' imprisonment. Disseminating "enemy propaganda," which included expressing opinions at odds with those of the government, is punishable by up to 14 years' imprisonment. The government considered international reports of human rights violations and mainstream foreign newspapers and magazines to be enemy propaganda...The government considered print and electronic media to be state property...The government was the sole book publisher in the country...The law prohibits distribution of printed material from foreign sources. Citizens did not have the right to receive or possess publications from abroad...The government controlled nearly all Internet access. Authorities reviewed and censored e mail and forbade any attachments...The law punishes any unauthorized assembly of more than three persons, including those for private religious services in private homes, by up to three months in prison and a fine. The authorities selectively enforced this prohibition and often used it as a pretext to harass and imprison human rights advocates... The government maintained a dossier on every child from kindergarten through high school, which included a record of the child's participation in political activities, such as mandatory marches." (U.S. State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2007, Cuba)