Cuba: Four Political Prisoners Freed

ISHR Spends Recognition to Four German Politicians

Frankfurt/M., February 19, 2008

Martin Lessenthin, speaker of the board at the International Society for Human Rights would like to extend his heartfelt appreciation to four political sponsors for their support of the unjustly imprisoned human rights defenders in Cuba and for helping to bring attention to the significant problem - political prisoners in Cuba.

Thanks to the personal assistance of these politicians the below listed prisoners have been released:


Labour union member and president of the umbrella organisation CUTC 'Consejo Unitario de Trabajadores' in Havanna, Pedro Pablo Alvarez Ramos, was arrested in March of 2003 and sentenced to 25 years of detendion in the prison Combinado del Este, Havanna. He suffers from extreme emaciation.

His political sponsor is Christoph Strässer MP of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and works in the Committee for Human Rights and Justice of the German Bundestag.

Jose 'Pepin' Gabriel Ramon Castillo is a teacher and founder of the independent journalist school 'Santiago de Cuba.' He was arrested in March of 2003 and sentenced to 20 years of detention in the prison Provincial de Boniato, Santiago de Cuba. Castillo suffers from diabetes, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular problems.

His political sponsor is Holger Haibach MP of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU). Haibach is Vice Chairman of the Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Help of the German Bundestag.

Omar Pernet Hernandez, founder of the independent library '20 del Mayo' and the National Human Rights Movement in Placetas, was arrested in March of 2003 and sentenced to 25 years in an enclosed jail cell in the Carlos Manuel de Cespedes de Bayamo hospital. A long previous jail sentence caused him many health problems, including blindness.

His political sponsor is Hartmut Nassauer MEP (CDU), acting Chairman of the EVP-ED branch of the European Parliament, Committee for Human Rights and Justice.

Alejandro Gonzalez Raga, engineer, journalist, and member of the Christian Freedom Movement in Camagüey was arrested in March of 2003 and sentenced to 14 years of detention in the prison Kilo 7, Camagüey. He suffers from serious heart problems, high blood pressure and loss of hearing, insomnia and depression.

His political sponsor is Philipp Missfelder MP of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU). Missfelder is the acting Chairman of the Committee for New Media, subcommittee 'Foreign Culture and Education Policy' of the German Bundestag.

30 German politicians have adopted a Cuban political prisoner through the ISHR program so far. Among the sponsors are the President of the European Parliament, Professor Hans-Gert Pöttering, and the Prime minister of Germany's State of Saarland, Peter Müller.

Freed Cuban political prisoners and their German political sponsors

Pedro Pablo Alvarez Ramos Christoph Strässer MP (SPD)
Jose 'Pepin' Gabriel Ramon Castillo Holger Haibach MP (CDU)
Omar Pernet Hernandez Hartmut Nassauer MEP (CDU)
Alejandro Gonzalez Raga Philipp Missfelder MP (CDU)