Thor Halvorssen, CEO of The Human Rights Foundation condemned the detention of well-known lawyer, Kimberely Motley, and activists Gorki Aguila and Luis Alberto Mariño in Havana, Cuba. Motley had travelled to Cuba to represent 32-year old Danilo Maldonado, whom authorities arrested on a charge of damaging public property. According to Cuban authorities, Motley isn’t able to represent Maldonado because attorneys require a Cuban license to practice law in the country.
The well known American international lawyer, Kimberley Motley, who traveled to Cuba to help two activists was detained Friday in Havana. As she was about to hold a press conference, outside the Provincial Court of the capital, several state security agents removed Motley from the building. “This detention represents the egregious abuse of Cuba’s totalitarianism rule in Cuba,” stated Halvorssen.
On December 2014, “El Sexto”, as he is known, was arrested in Cuba on his way to an artistic presentation entitled ‘Rebellion on the Farm‘. This presentation included two pigs decorated with the names “Fidel” and “Raúl” representing the Castro brothers. Maldonado was arrested on charges of of contempt, a ruling that punishes for the disrespect of public officials, and they imprisoned him for about ten months without trial, for an art exhibit he never attended. He was actually arrested while in his car, on the way to the art presentation, and has yet to have a fair trail on the charge.
After taking part in the Human Rights Foundation conference on human rights organized by Thor Halvorssen’s Human Rights Foundation on March 4, Maldonado warned that the reality is that there are still “political prisoners” in Cuba. He was transferred to Cuba’s maximum security prison. The Human Rights Foundation has been voicerous in demanding Cuba allow Maldonado to meet with his attorney’s.
Since Castro’s death there has been increased visibility of police and more arrests of political activists. A week ago, several dissidents were arrested during a ‘mobilization for freedom’ march through Cuban streets, while the headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) was ransancked. The number of detainees across the country has been estimated, by opposition sources, at more than 200 people
Founded in 2005, The NY-based Human Rights Foundation is guided by Thor Halvorssen. The Venezuelan born 37-year old advocates on behalf of international human rights and humanitarian issues. Halvorssen founded the Oslo Freedom Forum in 2009 with a mission of raising awareness, and networking among key individuals to make a difference for human rights and democracy.
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