Scottish MP calls for justice for jailed Miami 5
Jan. 5, 2012
Reprinted from Cumnock Chronicle
More than 250 people braved the rain and cold recently to hear local MP Cathy Jamieson demand the release of five Cubans jailed for espionage by the US Government following a trial labelled a miscarriage of justice by human rights organisations.
Cathy's call was echoed by fellow MPs, trade union leaders and lawyers at the fifth annual candlelight vigil for the "Miami Five" outside the US Embassy in London.
The Five, all Cuban intelligence officers, entered the United States in the late 1990s to infiltrate and monitor right-wing Cuban exile groups accused of killing over 3,500 people in terrorist attacks against Cuba. At the request of the US Government, the Five passed on the information they had gathered to the FBI in 1998.
Instead of arresting the terrorists, the FBI used the information to charge the Five with espionage, holding them illegally in solitary confinement for 17 months before their trial and conviction in 2000.
Amnesty International has described the treatment of the Five as "contrary both to the standards for the humane treatment of prisoners and to a states' obligation to protect family life".
Actors, musicians and poets performed moving compositions inspired by the Five at the vigil and read personal extracts from letters between the Five and their families.
Supporters also welcomed the mothers of three of the Five who expressed their gratitude, and that of their sons, for the support in the UK, saying that they would go back to Cuba with renewed hope that their cause would continued to be pushed in the UK.
Speaking at the vigil, Cathy said:
"I recently visited Cuba and discussed this matter with senior politicians. I know how strongly the Cuban people feel about the Miami 5, and that's why I was happy to speak at the vigil. It was a privilege to share the platform with the mothers and I hope that President Obama will take action to ensure a just outcome."