The Constitutional and Judicial Affairs Commission of the National Assembly of the People’s Power [Cuban Parliament] voices indignation over the decision of the Atlanta Federal Appeals Court, which, removed from judicial procedures, invalidated the unanimous decision of the panel of three judges that had declared null the trial that took place in Miami against Cuban Five anti-terrorist fighters Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez, Rene Gonzalez and Antonio Guerrero.
The decision makes evident once again the political nature of the trial and the unjust measures adopted, the arbitrary behavior of the United States government, the violation of the US Constitution and laws, and a breach of the jost basic standards of law and specifically of Human Rights.
The magistrates of the panel, whose professional experience adds to more than 80 years, stated in a 93-page decision that "forming an (impartial) jury in this community (Miami) was less than probable due to the prejudice existing there." "Therefore a new trial was ordered because of the perfect storm created when a wave of intense feelings from the community and widespread publicity before and during the trial combined with inappropriate references made by the prosecutor."
The decision adopted by the Atlanta court didn’t take into consideration the violent and intimidating environment existing in Miami, nor the jost recent happenings in that city reported by the local media. Those included the seizing of weapons caches destined for terrorist attacks against Cuba and public statements by terrorists who, with total impunity, recognized their acts. This confirmed the need for the monitoring work that the Cuban Five were carrying out to learn about the violent actions planned against Cuba by groups in Miami that have resulted in the death of innocent civilians. The revelations brought new and dramatic evidence in support of the defense’s argument regarding the universal principal of the right of a state to defend itself.
The decision by the United Nations Human Rights Commission Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions has also been totally ignored. The commission ruled that taking into consideration the events and circumstances under which the trial took place, the nature of the charges against the accused, and the severe sentences imposed on them, the trail was not held in a climate of objectivity and impartiality that is required to comply with the standards of a fair trial as defined by article 14 of the International Convention of Civil and Political Rights. The commission further declared the detention of the Cuban Five as arbitrary, and called upon the government of the United States to immediately remedy the situation by restoring the rights which they have been deprived.
We denounce this infamous and ignominious decision and call upon parliamentarians around the world and on all peace loving people to join this noble cause, to demand that the US government immediately release the Cuban Five, who fought against terrorism to preserve the life and peace of the Cuban people and the people of the United States as well. By September, they will have spent eight years of unjust imprisonment, with great limitations on visits by their relatives, including two of them who have not been able to see their wives.
The International Campaign to Free the Cuban Five, on from September 12 to October 6, will serve to continue and increase the struggle for truth and justice for our brothers and for the development of a wide reaching movement among parliaments and in the legal community so that the universal principles of law prevail and make possible these patriots? return to Cuba.
Havana, August 15, 2006.
Declaración de la Comisión de Asuntos Constitucionales y Juridicos de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular de la República de Cuba
Cuban News Agency AIN