RESOLUTION Nº 4/82
March 8, 1982
following was denounced in a communication of November 1979:
Reyes Fernández was sentenced to 20 years in prison on April 26, 1966
and accused of conspiring against the powers of the State. His case
number is 160-66. After being subjected to an interrogation accompanied
by cruel physical and mental torture, he was sent after one month to La
Cabaña Prison in the Province of Havana.
has been compelled to take part in several hunger strikes along with his
companions, the most recent this past August in Boniato Prison, Oriente,
where he is now incarcerated and to which he was transferred arbitrarily
for no other reason than to keep him isolated and incommunicado.
to several long hunger strikes and the daily living conditions, he
suffers from gastritis and stomach ulcers. During his thirteen years in
Cuban prisons, he has been in those already mentioned and also in E1
Principe and in Combinado del Este, in the province of Havana.
2. In a note dated
March 4, 1979, the Commission transmitted the pertinent parts of the
denunciation to the Cuban Government, so that it might furnish it with
the information that it deemed appropriate.
3. To date, the
Cuban Government has made no reply.
4. In a
communication of September 19, 1981, additional information reporting
Reyes Hernández is still in prison and has been there since his
incarceration on April 26, 1966, when he was sentenced to 20 years
imprisonment, Case 160. Following the so-called release of some
political prisoners for propaganda purposes, as part of a program
planned by the Cuban Government under the name of dialogue --which was,
of course, between adherents of the regime's Marxist ideology--those
prisoners who were not among those chosen were sent to harsher prisons,
where conditions for human survival are of the worst. Roger Reyes was
transferred to the Boniato Prison in Santiago de Cuba, Oriente, in
August 1979. To begin with,
few visits were allowed. Later the regime put pressure on the prisoners
to bend them to its will and compel them to accept the status of common
prisoners, alleging that those remaining were war criminals and
terrorists. This was untrue, even on the basis of the legal arguments
put forward by the government in its statement of the case at the time
the prisoners were put on trial.
situation becomes increasingly worse. Reyes, along with the others, is
currently in a walled-up cell where he has been since January, when
family visits have been stopped. In reprisal for not wanting to accept
the uniform of the common prisoner, the prisoner are allowed only their
underpants as clothing. All these conditions have led them in recent
months to renew their hunger strikes, demanding such natural human
rights as improved food and sanitary conditions and, above all, the
medical care that they all need-- especially a large group of them who
are in very poor health. As a result, some are paralyzed and are still
without medical care. Recently, a great number of prisoners completed
their sentences, and were denied release, without any advance
notification to them or to their relatives. As mental torture, they were
accused of being a danger to society.
5. In a note of
October 8, 1981, the Commission transmitted this additional information
to the Cuban Government and again requested information.
6. To date, the
Cuban Government has not replied the notes mentioned.
1. To date, the
Government of Cuba has not replied to the requests of March 4, 1979 and
October 8, 1981;
2. Article 39 of
the Regulations of the Commission establishes as follows:
facts reported in the petition whose pertinent parts have been
transmitted to the government of the state in reference shall be
presumed to be true if, during the maximum period set by the Commission
under the provisions of Article 31, paragraph 5, the government has not
provided the pertinent information, as long as other evidence does not
lead to a different conclusion.
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
1. In application
of Article 39 of the Regulations, to presume to be true the acts
denounced in the communications of November 1979 and September 19, 1981
on the arbitrary detention of Roger Reyes Fernández.
2. To declare that
the Government of Cuba violated the right to liberty and personal
security (Article I), the right to the preservation of health (Article
XI), the right to a fair trial (Article XVIII), the right to due process
(Article XXVI) of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of
3. To transmit
this decision to the government of Cuba and to the claimants.
4. To include this
resolution in the Annual Report of the Commission to the General
Assembly of the Organization of American States in accordance with
Article 18, paragraph (f) of the Statute and Article 59, paragraph (g)
of the Regulations of the Commission.