Human rights in Cuba

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1997/62


The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling its resolution 1996/69 of 23 April 1996 regarding the extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission to review and report on the situation of human rights in Cuba and to maintain direct contact with the Government and citizens of Cuba,

Recalling also General Assembly resolution 51/113 of 12 December 1996 regarding the situation of human rights in Cuba,

Reaffirming that all Member States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms as stated in the Charter of the United Nations and as elaborated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other applicable human rights instruments,

Considering the report on the situation of human rights in Cuba submitted to the Commission by the Special Rapporteur (E/CN.4/1997/53),

Profoundly concerned at continued violations in Cuba of human rights and fundamental freedoms enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, such as freedoms of thought, conscience and religion, opinion and expression, and assembly and association, and rights associated with the administration of justice,

Dismayed by the violation of the right to life by the Government of Cuba in shooting down two unarmed civilian aircraft on 24 February 1996,

1. Commends the Special Rapporteur for his report and his efforts to carry out his mandate concerning the situation of human rights in Cuba;

2. Calls upon the Government of Cuba to permit the Special Rapporteur the opportunity to carry out his mandate in full, in particular by allowing him to visit Cuba;

3. Expresses particular concern that the Government of Cuba has failed to carry out its commitment, common to all Member States, to cooperate with the Commission on Human Rights, in conformity with Articles 55 and 56 of the Charter of the United Nations;

4. Calls upon the Government of Cuba to consider acceding to human rights instruments to which it is not yet a party;

5. Regrets profoundly the numerous reports of violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as described in the report of the SpecialRapporteur, and urges the Government of Cuba to ensure freedom of expression and assembly and freedom to demonstrate peacefully, including by allowing political parties and non-governmental organizations to function freely in the country and by reforming legislation in this area;

6. Calls upon the Government of Cuba to carry out the recommendations contained in the report of the Special Rapporteur to bring its observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms into conformity with international law and applicable international human rights instruments, to end all violations of human rights, including, in particular, the detention and imprisonment as well as harassment of and threats against human rights defenders and others engaged in the peaceful exercise of their rights, and to grant access to the prisons by non-governmental humanitarian organizations and international humanitarian agencies;

7. Calls especially upon the Government of Cuba to release the numerous persons detained for activities of a political nature, including those specifically mentioned in the report of the Special Rapporteur who suffer from inadequate medical care while imprisoned or whose rights as journalists or jurists are impeded or denied;

8. Calls upon the Government of Cuba to ensure that workers' rights are safeguarded, including through independent and generalized collective-bargaining systems;

9. Decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for one year;

10. Requests the Special Rapporteur to maintain direct contacts with the Government and citizens of Cuba as specified in past resolutions of the Commission;

11. Requests that the existing mechanisms of the Commission continue giving attention to the situation of human rights in Cuba;

12. Invites the Special Rapporteur and the existing thematic mechanisms of the Commission to cooperate fully and exchange information and findings on the situation of human rights in Cuba;

13. Requests the Secretary-General to provide all necessary assistance to the Special Rapporteur;

14. Requests the Special Rapporteur to submit an interim report to the General Assembly at its fifty-second session and to report to the Commission at its fifty-fourth session on the results of his endeavours pursuant to the present resolution;

15. Invites the Government of Cuba to consider the possibility of requesting the establishment of a programme of advisory services.

66th meeting
16 April 1997

[Adopted by a roll-call vote of 19 votes to 10, with 24 abstentions. See chap. X.]



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