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Murphy MP critical of British government’s visa refusal to René Gonzalez

6 March, 2014 - by Conor Murphy


Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy is traveling to London today to attend an International Commission of Inquiry into the case of the Cuban Five being held on 7th and 8th March at the Law Society. Mr Murphy will also attend a briefing this afternoon in Westminster for MPs and European parliamentarians.

Mr Murphy strongly criticised the British Government’s refusal to grant René González, one of the Cuban Five, a visa to visit Britain.

Conor Murphy said:

“René Gonzalez was released from prison after 15 years and returned to Cuba last year. He was due to be one of the principal witnesses at the International Commission.

“I am pleased and look forward to attending the International Commission of Inquiry, on behalf of Sinn Fein. The breadth of participants and support for the event reflects the high level of international concern over the case of the Cuban Five.

“However, the decision of the British Government to deny René Gonzalez an entry visa is entirely wrong. Rene was due to attend and give his evidence to the Commission.

“Rene was imprisoned for over 15 years in the US, but the trial which convicted him and four other people, was labelled as unjust by Amnesty International.

“The trial was also criticised by the UN Human Rights Commission, and eight Nobel Prize winners have petitioned the US attorney general, calling for freedom for the Five.

“The International Commission this week is tasked with investigating the fairness of the trial. The event will go ahead, with an impressive array of international figures taking part and giving support.

“Given the highly politicised case of the Cuban Five, I can only conclude that this decision has not been taken in the public interest, but for purely political reasons. To deny Rene entry to Britain and the opportunity to give his evidence at the Commission is wrong. I strongly support the organisers in their efforts to reverse the decision.”

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