Amnesty Int’l Calls for Review of Cuban Five Case

Amnesty Int'l Calls for Review of Cuban Five CaseHAVANA, Oct 16. -In one of the latest example of worldwide calls for justice for the Cuban Five, the London-based international human rights organization Amnesty International sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder calling for a review of their case.

In a report released on Wednesday, the group, which has often joined campaigns against the Cuban Government, questions however the fairness of the trial in the U.S. for Cuban antiterrorists Fernando González, Gerardo Hernández and Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and René González.

It further urges the U.S. government to grant visas to their wives to be able to visit them.

The Five have been held since their arrest in 1998, and after a rigged trial on espionage charges, have been serving unjust terms ranging from 15 years to life in U.S. federal prisons. But what they were actually doing was monitoring violent anti-Cuban groups in Florida to prevent terrorist actions.

In a Wednesday press release, Amnesty International says that in its letter to Holder on Oct. 4, it "noted doubts about the fairness and impartiality of the trial which have not been resolved on appeal."

"Holding the trial in Miami, given the pervasive hostility to the Cuban government in that area, along with media and other events before and during the trial, were factors that made it impossible to ensure a wholly impartial jury," the press release adds.

Even the prosecutors in the trial admitted they had no evidence to prove the espionage charges nor that they represented a threat to the U.S. national security, nor to prove the charge of conspiracy to support murder against Gerardo Hernández.

The group holds that "other concerns included questions about the strength of the evidence to support the conspiracy to murder conviction in the case of Gerardo Hernández, and whether the circumstances of the pre-trial detention of the five men, in which they had limited access to their attorneys and to documents, may have undermined their right to defense."

"Amnesty International has called on the U.S. government to review the case and mitigate any injustice through the clemency process or other appropriate means, should further legal appeals prove ineffective," the press release underlines.

The organization further notes it has "reiterated its concern about the repeated denials by the US government of temporary visas to allow the Cuban wives of two of the prisoners, René González and Gerardo Hernández, to visit their husbands."

It says it was "concerned that such a blanket or permanent bar on visits with their wives constitutes additional punishment and is contrary to international standards for the humane treatment of prisoners and statesâ�Ö obligation to protect family life. Amnesty International continues to urge the government to grant the wives temporary visas on humanitarian grounds."

Amnesty International had previously called for visas to be granted to Perez and Salanueva in 2007, and then again in March 2009. (Prensa Latina)