Press Release: Center for a Free Cuba will co-host a side event at the UN Human Rights Council on the eve of Cuba’s Universal Periodic Review to report on human rights violations on the island.

Press Release:

Center for a Free Cuba will co-host a side event at the UN Human Rights Council on the eve of Cuba’s Universal Periodic Review to report on human rights violations on the island.

Contacts:: John Suarez  (612)-367-6845 and Janisset Rivero (786)-208-6056

Center for a Free Cuba. Geneva, November 14, 2023. The Center for a Free Cuba (CFC) will co-host 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 will give testimony; and reports on extrajudicial executions. Anamely Ramos Gonzalez will address the plight of Cuban prisoners of conscience, and the right to return. The situation in prisons and the plight of Cubans in general and updates on their respective UPR reports will be presented by Janisset Rivero, and musician, and activist Yunier Suárez.

Excerpts of the documentary “Free from Within” [ Libres desde adentro ] will 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 moderator will be Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based organization UN Watch. John Suarez, executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba will give 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,” said John Suarez, executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba.

WHEN                               Tuesday, November 14th, 2023  at 1:30PM

WHERE                              Palais de Nations, Salón XXII, Geneva Switzerland

Brief biographies of participants:

Sirley Avila Leon

Ex-delegate of the People’s Assembly of Majibacoa. Her position was eliminated in reprisal for campaigning to reopen a school in her community, and subjected to a machete attack in 2015..

Rosa María Payá   

Cuban pro-democracy activist and daughter of murdered Cuban civic opposition leader Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas.

Hillel Neuer

Executive director of the Geneva-based organization UN Watch. He is an international lawyer, diplomat, writer and activist,

Anamely Ramos González

Cuban activist, professor, and art curator who worked alongside Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and Maykel Osorbo in the defense of human rights, artistic freedoms, and the release of political prisoners. Denied her right to return home to Cuba beginning on February 16, 2022.

Janisset Rivero 

Cuban human rights activist. She presented Cuba’s struggle for freedom and democracy at the UN’s Human Rights Council and at OAS’s Inter American Commission for Human Rights in Washington, DC on numerous occasions.

John Suarez

Executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba.. He is a human rights activist.

Yunier Suárez

Cuban human rights defender and artist. Through theater, he exposed the mechanisms of repression and violence employed by the Cuban dictatorship. 

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