Friday, October 15, 2021

UN rights chief calls for release of anti-government protesters in Cuba

GENEVA: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has called on Cuban authorities to release those arrested during mass demonstrations protesting the government’s failed economic policies.

These are the largest anti-government protests Cuba has seen in decades. Thousands have come out to vent their anger over the government’s policies that have led to the economic collapse of the Caribbean island state.

Anti-government activists in Cuba estimate that more than 100 protesters have been arrested during the week-long demonstrations. UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet is calling for the early release of those detained.

Her spokeswoman, Liz Throsel, says that Bachelet condemns the government’s arrest of the people for exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, or freedom of opinion and expression.

“It is particularly worrying that these include individuals who were allegedly kept incommunicado and people whose whereabouts are unknown,” Throsel said. “We are also deeply concerned at the alleged use of excessive force against protesters in Cuba and deeply regret the death of a protester in Havana. It is important that there is an independent, transparent, effective investigation, and those responsible are held accountable. Go.”

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Miguel Diaz-Canel became the President of Cuba in 2018. He is the first person other than the Castro brothers, Fidel and Ra राउl, to rule this communist state in nearly 60 years. The economy has collapsed under his guidance.

People have come out collectively to express their displeasure over the high prices of food items, shortage of medicines and other items, and what they see as government mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government blames the Cuban economic crisis for decades of US sanctions. However, experts believe that the Soviet style of government, a centrally planned economy and a lack of market reforms should be to blame for suppressing the country’s economic growth.

Bachelet is urging the Cuban government to address the grievances of the protesters through dialogue and to respect people’s rights to protest peacefully. She is calling on the internet and social media, which have been cut by the government to suppress dissent, to be restored.

Bachelet reiterates its appeal to unilaterally lift regional sanctions that it says harm human rights, including the right to health.

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