US Calls for Release of 10 Political Prisoners Over Holiday Season

By: Karina Martín - Dec 26, 2016, 11:34 am
UN Officials Call for the Release of 10 Political Prisoners
The United Nations calls for the release of 10 political prisoners, several of whom are held in Latin America. (russia-insider)


Samantha Powers, the United States representative to the United Nations, has called for the release of lawyer Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo of the Legal Information Center, who is detained in Cuba.

The request was made by Powers through her Twitter account, and the use of the hashtag #FreeToBeHome, as part of an American campaign to free 10 political prisoners from various countries.

On September 23, Cuban authorities arrested Julio during a raid on the organization’s office in Havana.

“We call on the Government of Cuba to release Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo immediately, so that he can be with his family and provide legal assistance to the Cuban people,” the #FreeToBeHome campaign website says.

The initiative began last December 10, and not only requests the freedom of the Cuban lawyer, but also of nine other prisoners incarcerated by oppressive governments:

Ilgar Mammadov of Azerbaijan; Oleg Sentsov of Russia; Khalil Matouk of Syria; Leopoldo López of Venezuela; Narges Mohammadi of Iran; Ilham Tohti of China; Bekele Gerba of Ethiopia; Omar Mohamed Ali of Egypt and Fanta Jawara of Gambia.


“This holiday season, when American families get together, remember lost holidays, bittersweet birthdays and family occasions where a mother, brother, friend or neighbor is absent because a government chose to censor their voices and lock them up,” Powers wrote. “Throughout this holiday season, the United States government will be showcasing prisoners unjustly detained throughout the world and the families they leave behind.”

Cuba and, more recently, Venezuela, have been the subject of much international criticism regarding the government’s treatment of dissenting viewpoints. Currently the roster of political prisoners in Venezuela includes a number of prominent opposition politicians.

Sources: Cubanet; Martí Noticias.

Karina Martín Karina Martín

Karina Martín is a Venezuelan reporter with the PanAm Post based in Valencia. She holds a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages from the Arturo Michelena University.

Venezuelan Opposition Cuts off Dialogue with Maduro after Broken Promises

By: Karina Martín - Dec 26, 2016, 9:01 am

EspañolSecretary of the Democratic Unity Roundtable Jesús Torrealba announced that the Venezuelan opposition will not resume dialogue with the Venezuelan government that was scheduled for January 13. "We are not satisfied with the conditions for restoring a direct dialogue between the parties next January 13," the opposition said in a letter addressed to Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. The Vatican has been facilitating the dialogue process between Nicolás Maduro's administration and the Venezuelan opposition, and had set up the January meeting date. The opposition is reportedly not going to attend the talks because the national government has not met certain demands agreed upon at previous meetings. Opposition leaders said that contrary to an advance in electoral matters — one of the main focuses of the dialogues — there have been a setbacks. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); });   "In equally important areas, such as the freedom of political prisoners and the care of the victims of the humanitarian crisis, there have been timid, insufficient gestures that do not represent real reparations for the inferred damages or an aid to the victims of or the seriousness that the crisis demands," a MUD statement read. The statement addressed to the Holy See highlighted "non-compliance with the agreements with the families of the political prisoners, with the victims of the humanitarian crisis, with the representatives of Popular Sovereignty expressed in the National Assembly, with workers left jobless after looting induced by official irresponsibility, with entrepreneurs driven into bankruptcy by a government that forced them to sell below their costs of production, and with all the other actors of this complex Venezuelan time, who have no possibility of any dialogue with a government that does not know how to have one respectfully even with some of the international facilitators it invites. " Sources: La Patilla; El Nacional; El Tiempo.

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