One year after suspicious death of Cuba’s top dissident, 125 leaders urge U.N. to investigate
FIRST TIME: APPEAL FILED AS OFFICIAL SUBMISSION TO U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL, WILL APPEAR ON AGENDA OF SEPTEMBER SESSION
Signatories include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, European Parliament VP, former presidents & foreign ministers, ambassadors, human rights activists and dissidents
GENEVA, July 22 — Marking the first anniversary of the suspicious deaths of top Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya and activist Harold Cepero, more than 100 public figures from around the world today called on the highest officials of the United Nations to launch an international and independent investigation. (See full text below.)
“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,” implores the petition.
While leading officials in the U.S. and elsewhere have previously spoken out for an inquiry, this is the first time that the controversy will be officially part of the UN’s agenda.
The manifesto was filed today as an official submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council by the Geneva-based non-governmental group UN Watch, which organized the appeal together with a fellow human rights group, the Cuban Democratic Directorate.
Under UN rules governing submissions by accredited NGOs, the appeal will be circulated to all delegates as an official UN document, and placed on the agenda of the Human Rights Council’s upcoming September session, increasing pressure for an inquiry, and for Cuba to answer for the alleged killings.
High-level signatories of the appeal include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, European Parliament Vice-President Edward McMillan-Scott, Chinese dissident Yang Jianli, numerous former presidents, foreign ministers & ambassadors, MPs and human rights activists.
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