Following the recent, cruel and avoidable death of Cuban prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo and the imminent death of Guillermo Fariñas, an online campaign has been launched to call for the release of all Cuban political prisoners. The main effort of the campaign For the Freedom of Cuban Political Prisoners (other than continuing to raise awareness of the systematic violations of human rights in Cuba) is to gather signatures for this letter:
For the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners in Cuban jails; for respect for the exercise, promotion and defense of human rights anywhere in the world; for the honor and courage of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, unjustly incarcerated and brutally tortured in Castro’s prisons, who died while on a hunger strike denouncing these crimes and the lack of rights and democracy in his country; for respect for the life of those who risk death such as Zapata Tamayo to prevent Fidel and Raúl Castro’s government from vanquishing their critics and peaceful opponents by sentencing them to up to 28 years in prison for “crimes” of opinion; for respect for the physical and moral integrity of each person; we sign this letter and invite to sign it all those who have chosen to defend their freedom and the freedom of others.
The letter has been translated into several languages, and has been endorsed by Oscar, Grammy and Pulitzer prize winners (Pedro Almodóvar, Paquito D’Rivera, Nilo Cruz…), prominent journalists, scientists, politicians and human rights activists, as well as by plumbers, teachers, librarians, students, among others, from around the world.
This campaign is made possible by freedoms that many of us take for granted in the US: the right to disagree; the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures;
the right to demonstrate in public; the right to congregate with like-minded people; the right to voice opposition without fear of losing one’s job, good standing, health or life. None of these rights exist in Cuba. And Orlando Zapata Tamayo died demanding those rights.
If you believe in human rights, why should Cuba be an exception? Will you spread the news about this? Please, sign the letter here!