“Oswaldo Payá was the most prominent Cuban pro-democracy activist of the last two decades and he was killed in circumstances that indicate foul play in the Western Hemisphere’s only totalitarian country,” said HRF president Thor Halvorssen. “We ask the Special Rapporteur to question the Cuban government about evidence that strongly suggests that Payá’s death was the result of a car crash caused by agents of the dictatorship. We ask the Special Rapporteur to help the Payá family in their search for truth and justice,” said Halvorssen.
The legal report HRF submitted to the U.N. Special Rapporteur concludes that “the evidence the Cuban State deliberately ignored strongly suggests that the events of July 22, 2012 were not an accident, as was quickly claimed by authorities in State-owned media and later rubber-stamped in Cuba’s totalitarian court system. Rather, Payá’s death is the result of a car crash directly caused by agents of the State, acting (1) with the intent to kill Oswaldo Payá and his fellow passengers in the vehicle; (2) with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm to them; or (3) with reckless or depraved indifference to an unjustifiably high risk to the life of Oswaldo Payá.”
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.
Contact: Noemi Gonzalo-Bilbao, (212) 246-8486, firstname.lastname@example.org