Thursday, October 21, 2010

Free Oscar Elias Biscet

Please sign the petition!

Category: Human RightsRegion:

GLOBALTarget: President Barack Obama

Web site:

Background (Preamble):

Free Oscar Elias Biscet is the petition of The International Campaign of Oscar Elias Biscet. Dr. Biscet, my father, was unjustly imprisoned and sentenced to 25 years for defending basic human rights.

Mr President Obama:

I am writing to you on behalf of my father, Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, a political prisoner in Cuba for all but 36 days since November 1999. I’m requesting an opportunity to meet with you so I can speak with you about this great man and his struggle for a free Cuba.

I’m imploring you to lend your prestige and that of your office to a campaign calling for his unconditional release as his daughter. I could provide you a litany of reasons why Dr. Biscet is deserving of your attention. Instead, I note how others have recognized him: Amnesty International has declared him a “prisoner of conscience. And your predecessor, President George W. Bush in 2007, awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, saying “his example is a rebuke to the tyrants and secret police of a regime whose day is passing.”

Many have compared him to South Africa’s Nelson Mandela or to your country’s Martin Luther King Jr., comparisons I assure you my father is too humble to acknowledge but all well deserving. Like others in Cuba jailed because of their opposition to the Castro dictatorship and their faith in freedom, human rights and their fellow Cubans, my father has been unjustly imprisoned for most of the past 11 years.

My father has been a professed, impassioned opponent of the Castro dictatorship for almost 25 years, following principles of non-violence to challenge the regime’s record on health care, its treatment of political prisoners and on other fronts. He has inspired many in Cuba and in exile to join him in his struggle.

In response, the regime in November 1999 arrested him and later sentenced him to 3 years in prison for the so-called crimes of "dishonoring national symbols" — that is, displaying the Cuban flag upside down — "public disorder," and "inciting delinquent behavior.”

My father finished his sentence in late 2002, but only 36 days later he was arrested again while preparing to meet with a group of human rights activists. After several months in jail, he was formally charged with being a threat to state security and as part of the 2003 “black spring” crackdown on Cuban dissidents, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Recently, 39 other political prisoners were jailed during the same crackdown, have been released and taken exile in Spain or Chile, under terms of an agreement struck by the Spanish government, the Catholic Church and the Castro regime. My father respects their decisions to leave Cuba in exchange for their release, but he remains in jail because he refuses to accept the terms of that deal.

In the Castro gulag, my father has suffered unspeakable horrors and tortures. His solace, his strength, his survival, have come from his faith in God and his unwavering commitment to his principles. Even in jail, he is one of Cuba’s freest men.

Which is why the only condition that is acceptable to him before he agrees to leave prison is no condition at all. He will not accept any type of parole or probation that makes it possible for the regime to send him back to jail and he will never accept forced exile to Spain or anywhere else. He will not abandon the country he loves.

I miss my father terribly and fear for his health and safety. But I support his position, his continued resistance to tyranny and his steadfast commitment to freedom and human rights for all Cubans.

Please, Mr. President, join us in this struggle and address this publicly so the people of the world may know of this injustice.

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