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British parliamentarians call on John Kerry to grant visitation rights to wives of Miami Five

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Press Release
11th April 2013

Seventy-one British parliamentarians have written to US Secretary of State John Kerry asking him to grant visas to allow two Cuban women, Adriana Perez and Olga Salanueva, to visit their husbands in the United States.

Gerardo Hernandez, imprisoned in U.S.P. Victorville, and Rene Gonzalez, on supervised release in Florida, are two of the Miami Five, five Cuban men unjustly tried and imprisoned since 1998 by the United States government.

Mrs Salanueva and Mrs Pérez, have been denied visitation rights and refused visas to visit their husbands on ten separate occasions. Amnesty International has described the treatment as “contrary both to the standards for the humane treatment of prisoners and to a states’ obligation to protect family life.”

The letter asks that “the government of the United States considers a humanitarian gesture to grant visitation rights and allow these two women to see their husbands again.”

The letter is signed by representatives of both British Houses of Parliament including eight members of the House of Lords and 63 elected MPs.

Rob Miller, Director of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign in Britain said: “Increasing numbers of the British public and parliamentarians are hearing about the case of the Miami Five and joining the international campaign for their freedom and visitation rights. We urge John Kerry to show that the US is capable of compassion by responding positively to the requests in this letter from British parliamentarians representing millions of UK citizens.”

Notes for editors:

1. Open letter to John Kerry
http://www.cuba-solidarity.org.uk/docs/OpenLettertoUSSecretaryofStateMarch2013.pdf

2. The letter follows an Early Day Motion (EDM) on the same subject in the House of Commons which has been signed by 126 Members of Parliament from all parties including Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Alliance, Democratic Unionist, Green, Plaid Cymru, Respect, Scottish National Party and Social Democratic and Labour Party.

Full list of MPs that have signed EDM 497: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/497
EDM 497 campaign website: http://edm.cuba-solidarity.org.uk/

3. British Foreign Secretary William Hague, recently stated that the British Government was monitoring the case closely.
http://www.cuba-solidarity.org.uk/news.asp?ItemID=2407

Contact: Natasha Hickman communications@cuba-solidarity.org.uk 07813 689777

Copy of Open Letter
Humanitarian appeal to the U.S. Secretary of State to grant visitation rights to the wives of the Miami Five

Dear Secretary of State John Kerry

We are writing to make a humanitarian appeal to you to intervene in the visa applications of two Cuban nationals – Adriana Perez and Olga Salanueva – who are seeking permission to visit their husbands in the United States.

Mrs Perez’s husband, Gerardo Hernandez, is serving two life sentences and fifteen years in Adelanto California, and Rene Gonzalez, husband of Olga Salanueva is currently on three years supervised release in Florida after completing his sentence. Both women have been denied entry visas by US authorities on ten separate occasions, and in the case of Olga Salanueva, told she is permanently ineligible to apply again.

Their case is supported by religious, legal and human rights organisations around the world including Amnesty International, who have described the denial of visitations rights as:
“contrary both to standards for the human treatment of prisoners and to a states’ obligation to protect family life.”

We respectfully ask only that the government of the United States considers a humanitarian gesture to grant visitation rights and allow these two women to see their husbands again.

Yours sincerely

For full list of signatories see:
http://www.cuba-solidarity.org.uk/docs/OpenLettertoUSSecretaryofStateMarch2013.pdf
Natasha Hickman
Cuba Solidarity Campaign
Communications Manager

T. +44 (0) 20 8800 0155  |  M. 07813 689777
Cuba Solidarity Campaign, c/o Unite Woodberry, 218 Green Lanes, London, N4 2HB

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