Cuban dissidents in Spain to demand political asylum: lawyer

8th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

A lawyer representing six of the 20 Cuban dissidents who arrived in Spain last month warned Sunday that he would take legal action unless Madrid grants them political asylum.

Fernando Vizcaino told Spanish media he is also seeking a meeting with political parties to find out "if there is a reason for not granting them political asylum... I mean, if there is some agreement that Spain has reached with Cuba."

Spain last month received 20 Cuban dissidents who have accepted residency in the country after Madrid helped broker a deal reached on July 7 between the Cuban government and the Roman Catholic Church to gradually free 52 detainees.

The remaining 32 are to remain in Cuba or leave for the United States.

Vizcaino said the six he is representing want refugee status to make clear they were imprisoned for political reasons in Cuba.

He said refugee status must legally be granted within a maximum of six months. If at the end of that period the government has not granted them asylum he would "go to the courts," he told the Europa Press news agency.

Before then, he plans to take the case to the ombudsman.

"They cannot wait six months without knowing what is happening, so we we are going to the ombudsman" he explained.

He also raised the possibility of appealing to international bodies such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

© 2010 AFP

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