UN rights chief hopes for more Cuban dissident releases

14th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

The UN's human rights chief hopes that Cuba will quickly review the situation of its remaining political prisoners and free them soon, her spokesman told AFP Wednesday.

Cuba last Wednesday agreed to free 52 political prisoners in a surprise church-state deal promising the biggest such release since President Raul Castro formally took power in the communist country in 2008.

The first seven of this group arrived in Spain on Tuesday.

"In addition to the group of 52, it would be good if the momentum could be maintained by a swift review of the situation of other prisoners, widely viewed as political detainees, so they too can taste freedom once again," said Rupert Colville, spokesman of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The high commissioner expects "significant steps to advance the protection of human rights in Cuba," he added.

The 52 were among 75 dissidents rounded up in 2003 and sentenced to jail terms of six to 28 years.

The Cuban Human Rights and National Reconciliation Commission estimates there are 167 political prisoners in the Caribbean nation of more than 11 million people.

© 2010 AFP

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