CubaBrief: CFC co-hosted side event at the UN Office at Geneva on eve of Cuba’s Universal Periodic Review

Center for a Free Cuba co-hosted side event at the United Nations Office at Geneva on the eve of Cuba’s Universal Periodic Review to report on human rights violations on the island.

The Center for a Free Cuba (CFC) co-hosted a side event in Salón XXII in the Palais de Nations at the UN headquarters in Geneva titled “Cuba’s Universal Periodic Review: A Shadow Report“ on the island’s human rights situation on the eve of the Universal Periodic Review of Cuba, alongside Cuba Decide and UN Watch.

Sirley Avila Leon, and Rosa Maria Payá gave their testimony; and reports on extrajudicial executions. Anamely Ramos Gonzalez addressed the plight of Cuban prisoners of conscience, and her right to return home blocked by the Cuban dictatorship. The situation in prisons and the plight of Cubans in general and updates on their respective UPR reports was presented by Janisset Rivero, and musician, and Cuba Decide activist Yunier Suárez.

Excerpts of the documentary Free from Within” [ Libres desde adentro ] were be screened during the side panel,. and its international premiere made over social media. It is a videographic protest made in Cuba by Palenque Visión, an audiovisual project, which draws on the testimonies of political prisoners arrested during the July 11 protests and their families.

The event was moderated by Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based organization UN Watch. John Suarez, executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba gave the introduction to the side event.

The Universal Periodic Review is conducted every five years and is the only time when member countries of the UN Human Rights Council examine summaries of independent organizations’ reports prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Our presence here is to give a voice to those within Cuba who struggle to defend human dignity and freedom, as well as to counteract the efforts of the Cuban dictatorship, which seeks to subvert this process by inserting false reports through organizations created and controlled by them.

Now more than ever it is important to sign and share the petition to expel the Cuban dictatorship from the UN Human Rights Council.