Loading
Cuba frees 10 political prisoners, including Nobel peace prize nominee
Dr. Oscar Biscet
Dr. Oscar Biscet

.- Cuban officials released 10 more political prisoners, including prominent dissident  Oscar Elias Biscet, who was recently nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Biscet, a doctor who had been serving a 25-year sentence for being accused of activities that endangered state security, was released on March 11 with nine others. The dissidents were among 75 who were jailed during a repressive wave in the country nearly eight years ago.

The office of Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Archbishop of Havana, made the announcement of Biscet’s release by e-mail on March 10.

The release is the latest of several, following unprecedented dialogue between Cuban officials and the country's Catholic leaders. In 2003, 75 dissidents were arrested for what the local communist government viewed as treason. The prisoners have reportedly suffered harsh conditions while incarcerated, with some going on hunger strikes as a sign of protest.

Many of the political prisoners who have been released in the last several months are living in exile in Spain, which agreed to accept them, and three remain imprisoned in Cuba. However, Biscet belongs to a small group of dissidents who refused to be exiled to Spain in exchange for their release. He returned to his home in Havana last Friday.

The 49 year-old doctor is the president of the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights. He became one of the most well known opponents of the communist government in Cuba and has earned the respect of both human rights groups and African American activists in the United States.

Biscet suffered numerous arrests beginning in 1998. He was convicted in 2000 and arrested again in 2002. For his opposition to Cuban authorities, then-president George W. Bush awarded him the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007.  

Earlier this year, Biscet was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban. In a Feb. 1 letter to the peace prize committee, Orban called the dissident a “man of courage and dignity” and an “ardent defender of human rights.”

Biscet is also the subject of a documentary from U.S. director Jordan Allott titled “Oscar’s Cuba.” The film was a selection of the 2011 John Paul II Film Festival.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Jul
28

Liturgical Calendar

July 28, 2014

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:31-35

Gospel
Date
07/28/14
07/27/14
07/26/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 13: 1-11
Gospel:: Mt 13: 31-35

Saint of the Day

St. Victor I, Pope »

Saint
Date
07/27/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:31-35

Homily
Date
07/28/14
07/27/14
07/26/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: