Friday, September 28, 2012

Our People’s Lawyers

Our People's Lawyers / Cuban Law Association, Wilfrido Vallin Almeida
Cuban Law Association, Translator: Espirituana, Veizant Boloy, Wilfredo
Vallin Almeida

The news hits me because it's so inconceivable: as he was trying to find
out the situation of a person detained in Santiago de las Vegas, the
young lawyer Veizant Boloy, of the Cuban Law Association, was arrested.

This arrest took place inside a police station. Veizant was handcuffed
and locked in a cell as well. There are no charges; there is no Arrest
Record; there is nothing. Now in Cuba not only are the lawyers who are
not pro-government not allowed to inquire about an imprisoned person,
but those who question and demand compliance with the law must be punished.

The officer, obviously irritated, told him:

"We no longer tolerate lawyers in police stations taking an interest in
those who are detained."

And in a different moment:

"For us you guys are not lawyers."

For some time we have known the defenseless situation existing in Cuba
regarding those who are detained and that we lawyers cannot be with them
from the moment they are taken prisoners. We can only do it after a
certain amount of time, when the police have already done what they
deemed appropriate.

But this matter of not allowing us even to inquire about the situation
of a person who is detained is the height of arbitrariness… but only to
demonstrate to what extents goes the harassment of those for whom the
laws were not written.

And that harassment results — I have no doubt — from the fact that many
people are willing to inform other Cubans of the Citizens' Demand that
was delivered to the headquarters of the National Assembly of the
People's Power on June 20th of the current year.

That demand urges the government to ratify the UN Covenants on Civil and
Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which seems
to be the last thing it wants in this world.

In acting in a repressive and violent way against what they themselves
signed, those who do it show their true face to the international
community… who observe what is happening not only in Syria or Africa.

Finally, whether they want it or not, those Covenants will be ratified
and we will continue to work to that end, we who — although some may not
like it — are OUR PEOPLE'S LAWYERS.

Translated by: Espirituana

September 24 2012

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