Amnesty International, the human rights organisation which operates in Britain as Amnesty International UK is strongly urging the government of Cuba to stop harassing the family members of a human rights activist who died last year whilst on hunger strike.
Orlando Zapata Tamayo died in February of last year in a Havana jail, since then Mr. Tamayo’s mother has been arrested by security agents, who threatened her, and demanded that she and other mourners refrain from commemorating his death on the anniversary which occurred last week on the 23rd of February.
Amnesty International’s Special Advisor Javier Zuñiga said: “The fact that the Cuban authorities have so far failed to initiate an investigation into Orlando’s death is outrageous and preventing his family from properly celebrating his life is a scandal.”
Mrs. Tamayo and her husband as well as another activist were detained by more than a dozen Cuban security agents on Friday February 18th. Mr. and Mrs. Tamayo were released 12 hours later, whilst the activist Mr. Daniel Mesa was detained for two days and then released.
Mrs. Tamayo said the agents had threatened to prevent her leaving her home and go to the cemetery where her son is buried, in breach of her human rights.
Javier Zuñiga added: “The recent releases of activists in Cuba, who shouldn’t have been put in prison in the first place, will only be meaningful if, once all activists are released, they are able to carry out their legitimate work defending human rights without fear of reprisals.
“The harassment suffered by people like Orlando Tamayo’s relatives clearly goes to show that things still have not changed in Cuba and the authorities need to do much more to ensure human rights are a reality for all.”
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation, whose mission statement is “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.”
If you feel strongly about helping to protect the human rights of people who can’t help themselves in places like Cuba.