The murders of Paya and Cepero: An open letter to the UN Secretary General, High Commissioner for Human Rights, and all Ambassadors

An open letter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, and Ambassadors of all Member States

12 March 2013


We urge you to support our demand for an international and independent investigation into the alleged murder of Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá, a world-renowned figure and recipient of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize, who died in a car crash in Bayamo, Cuba, on July 22, 2012, together with fellow activist Harold Cepero.

In dramatic new testimony by the driver of the car, Ángel Carromero describes, in a Washington Post interview dated 6 March 2013, how their vehicle was followed, harassed and ultimately rammed from behind by a car bearing government license plates. Mr. Carromero further alleges that, following the crash, he was drugged, mistreated and coerced by Cuban authorities into making a false confession.

The new revelations corroborate the claims made by the families of the victims and other witnesses, as well as the report by Spain’s ABC news agency about text messages sent contemporaneous with the incident from the mobile phones of Mr. Carromero and another passenger, Aron Modig, indicating that their car was chased and then hit, causing the crash.

Significantly, according to the family of Oswaldo Payá, state security agents had repeatedly threatened to kill him.

Mounting and credible allegations that the Cuban government may have been complicit in the murder of its most prominent critic, a leading figure in the human rights world, cannot go ignored by the international community.

The families of the victims, and the people of Cuba, have a right to know the truth, and they have a right to justice. This can only happen with the creation of an international and independent inquiry. We therefore respectfully urge you to support our call.


Armando Calderon Sol, former President of El Salvador
Luis Alberto Lacalle, former President of Uruguay
Alejandro Toledo, former President of Peru
Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice-President of European Parliament
Markus Meckel, , former Foreign Minister of Germany
Zbigniew Romaszewski, former Speaker of Polish Senate, a founder of the Solidarity movement
Stanislav Shushkevich, former president of Supreme Soviet of Belarus, a current opposition leader in Belarus
Arnold Vaatz MP, Deputy Leader CDU, Germany
Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson, former Foreign Minister of Iceland
Mantas Adomênas MP, Lithuania
Laura Alonso MP, Argentina
Mbarka Bouaida, former MP, Morocco
Philip Claeys MEP
Michael Danby MP, Australia
Mátyás Eörsi, Secretary-General of Parliamentary Forum for Democracy, former MP, Hungary
David Kilgour, former MP, Canada
Adam Lipinski MP, former State Secretary of Poland
Martin Palouš, former Ambassador, Czech Republic
Marija Aušrin? Pavilioniene MP, Lithuania
Marco Perduca, Italian Senator, co-vicepresident of Nonviolent Radical Party
Janelle Saffin MP, Australia
Egidijus Vareikis MP, Lithuania
Renate Wohlwend MP, Lichtenstein
Emanuelis Zingeris MP, Lithuania, President of Parliamentary Forum for Democracy
Algis Chaste MP, Lithuania
Rimantas Jonas Days MP, Lithuania
Corina Fusu MP, Moldova
Tadeusz Iwinski MP, Poland
Vytautas Juozapaitis MP, Lithuania
Liutauras Kazlavickas MP, Lithuania
Valeriu Munteanu MP, Moldova
Victor Popa MP, Moldova
Paulius Saudargas MP, Lithuania
Valeriu Saharneanu MP, Moldova
Werner Schulz MEP, Germany
Aurelija Stancikiene MP, Lithuania
Povilas Urbsys MP, Lithuania
Fabian Hamilton MP, United Kingdom
Patricio Walker, Senator, Chile
Hillel Neuer, Executive Director, United Nations Watch
John Suarez, International Secretary, Cuban Democratic Directorate
Carl Gershman, President, the National Endowment for Democracy
Ken Wollack, President, National Democratic Institute
Zohra Yusuf, Chairperson, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
Yang Jianli, President, Initiatives for China
Carlos E. Ponce, General Coordinator, Latin American and Caribbean Network for Democracy
Faisal Fulad, Secretary General, Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society
Art Kaufman, Senior Director, World Movement for Democracy, National Endowment for Democracy
Alessandro Pettenuzzo, European Union of Public Relations
Lehlohonolo Chefa, Executive Director, Policy Analysis and Research Institute of Lesotho
Anki Flores, Former Secretary-General of the Antiracism Information Service, Geneva
Shauna Leven, Director, René Cassin organization
Bhawani Shanker Kusum, Executive Director, Gram Bharati Samiti, India
Duy Hoang, Spokesperson, Viet Tan
Dickson Ntwiga, Executive Director, Solidarity House International Foundation
Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President, Stop Child Executions
Atamao B T Kane, President, Southpanafrican International
Okay Machisa, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association
Obinna Egbuka, President, Youth Enhancement Organization
International Multiracial Shared Cultural Organization
Zofia Romaszewska, one of the founders of Solidarity movement, Poland