UN's Ban calls for 'more reconciliatory measures' from Cuba

19th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday welcomed Havana's move to free some dissidents and called on the Cuban authorities to undertake further reconciliatory measures.

"I followed closely the recent release of prisoners ... and that's welcome news and encouragement," the UN secretary general told journalists on the sidelines of the World Conference of the Speakers of Parliament.

"We expect that there should be more reconciliatory measures taken by the Cuban authorities and establishing the rule of law and respecting human rights.

"That's the fundamental principles of the United Nations' charter," he added.

Cuba agreed this month 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 these prisoners arrived in Spain last week.

The UN's human rights chief, Navi Pillay, has said she hoped that Havana would free its remaining political prisoners.

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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