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Cuban blogger files complaint with human rights group

Saturday, September 29, 2012    

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WASHINGTON, USA (AFP) — Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez filed a complaint against Cuba with the Inter-American Human Rights Commission yesterday for repeatedly refusing her permission to leave the country, her lawyer said.

The prize-winning independent blogger also requested "urgent precautionary measures to protect (her) life and physical integrity," said Bjorn Arp, a lawyer who filed the complaint with the regional rights commission.

"She has been unable to leave Cuba since 2007. She's requested it on 20 occasions," he told reporters.

Numerous western countries have given her visas, but Cuban authorities have never responded to her requests for permission to leave, the lawyer said.

The Inter-American Human Rights Commission is a body of the Organisation of American States, which suspended Havana in 1962.

Even though Havana does not recognize the commission, it is still legally subject to its resolutions because Cuba has never formally renounced the treaty that founded the OAS.

Sanchez, 37, began commenting on daily life in Cuba on her Generacion Y blog in 2007, but ran afoul of the regime for criticizing Fidel and Raul Castro.

Her lawyers said Sanchez presented evidence to the commission that she and her husband had been harassed by the Cuban authorities.

Sanchez wants to be able to leave and re-enter Cuba to accept awards and speaking engagements, her lawyers said.

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