Cuba releases political dissident after 13 years in custody

[JURIST] The Cuban government on Friday paroled dissident Francisco Chaviano Gonzalez [Amnesty backgrounder], after the former president of the Cuban National Council for Civil Rights served 13 years in prison. Chaviano was sentenced to 15 years in prison in May 1994 for allegedly "revealing state security secrets" and "falsifying public documents" by documenting cases of refugees who disappeared or died trying to flee Cuba.

The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, which made the announcement of Chaviano's release, estimates that the number of political prisoners in detention has dropped by over 20 percent since acting president Raul Castro [BBC profile] assumed the duties of Cuban President Fidel Castro [BBC profile] on July 31, 2006. The commission said that Chaviano was one of the "longest-held prisoners of conscience in the world." AP has more.



 

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