My title page contents

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Amnesty Candle now also burns for Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero

"We don't want savage capitalism; we already have savage communism. Please, no more savage things." - Oswaldo Payá, November 20, 2010 

Amnesty, Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero Escalante
Amnesty International came into existence 52 years ago on May 21, 1961 when Peter Benenson published "The Forgotten Prisoners"in The Observer and within the article announced that an "office has been set up in London to collect and publish information about Prisoners of Conscience all over the world."  Nevertheless, as Amnesty International grew and the awards and accolades flooded the organization Benenson never forgot all those innocents who had not been saved. He went on to explain the significance of the candle wrapped in barbed wire: 
"The candle burns not for us but for all those whom we failed to rescue from prison, who were shot on the way to prison, who were tortured, who were kidnapped, who ‘disappeared'. That is what the candle is for." 
 Since July 22, 2012 it also burns for Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero Escalante two human rights defenders who died under suspicious circumstances that demand an international investigation.

Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas was a consistent defender of human rights who denounced human rights violations across the ideological spectrum:

Two instances separated by a decade one involving the United States and the second, Iran demonstrate this courageous consistency in speaking truth to power. It is excerpted from an essay published today by Notes form the Cuban Exile Quarter:
On January 12, 2002 the Cuban Communist Party's daily newspaper Granma offered the official position of the dictatorship on the prison camp in Guantanamo: "We will not create any obstacles to the development of the [U.S. military] operation, though the transfer of foreign prisoners of war by the U.S. government to the base—located on a space in our territory upon which we have been deprived of any jurisdiction—was not part of the agreement that the base was founded upon."

The first Cuban on the island to criticize and denounce the United States for housing Afghan prisoners in Cuba and demanding they be treated with dignity was Cuban opposition leader Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas on December 17, 2002:  
"It's obviously a matter of shame that our land is being used for that purpose, having foreign prisoners brought to Cuba. Even if they are terrorists they deserve respect. Their human rights should be respected."
Ten years later, January 11, 2012,  Oswaldo Paya was criticizing the honoring of the Iranian despot Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denouncing both his antisemitism and brutal human rights record:
"Tyrant lizard on the hill. Currently Ahmadinejad speaks at the University of Havana. It is an insult to the students and an outrage to the sacred remains of Father Varela and against the virtue and the homeland of the Cubans

Mahmoud, why do you deny the Holocaust? Would you repeat it? Never again against any people."
Today, over twitter as the United Nations Human Rights Council's independent expert on extrajudicial executions presented his report and countries and nongovernmental organizations raised questions on killings and atrocities taking place around the world we tweeted the following quotes with the hashtag #HRC23 to draw attention to the plight of Oswaldo and Harold two human rights defenders whose lives were snatched away from their loved ones by state security on July 22, 2012:

Today as the Independent expert on Extrajudicial killings presents report @ we remind the world of OswaldoPaya

"Unless there is global solidarity, not only human rights but also the right to remain human will be jeopardized." - Oswaldo Paya

"Cause of human rights is a single cause, just as the people of the world are a single people." - Oswaldo Paya

 Sadly, the case of Oswaldo and Harold was not mentioned by special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions but we did find that the Liberal International, representing a world federation of Liberal and progressive parties from around the world submitted a written statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate the deaths of these human rights defenders.

No comments:

Post a Comment