Tags: tania bruguera | cuba | castro | human rights foundation

Tania Bruguera Case in Cuba Should Be Dismissed: Human Rights Foundation

By    |   Tuesday, 13 Jan 2015 03:39 PM

The Human Rights Foundation is calling on Cuban President Raul Castro to dismiss a case against performance artist Tania Bruguera, who was arrested last month after attempting a performance related to free speech.

Possible charges against Bruguera include disobedience, incitement to disorderly conduct, and incitement to commit a crime, all stemming from an open-mic performance she had planned for Dec. 30 in Havana's Revolution Square, according to the Human Rights Foundation.

"Bruguera's only 'weapons' were a microphone and her determination to shine a ray of light into the darkness of a military dictatorship that has censored every independent word in Cuba for the last 56 years," HRF President Thor Halvorssen said in a statement.

Bruguera was arrested before the performance and released after the set time for the event had passed. She was detained and released two other times, and her passport was seized, the HRF statement said.

The U.S. State Department condemned the detainment of Bruguera and other artists in a Dec. 30 news release.

"Freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly are internationally recognized human rights, and the Cuban government’s lack of respect for these rights, as demonstrated by today’s detentions, is inconsistent with Hemispheric norms and commitments. We urge the Government of Cuba to end its practice of repressing these and other internationally protected freedoms and to respect the universal human rights of Cuban citizens," the statement said.

The Dec. 30 event was planned to invite members of the public to to express themselves for one minute each. Bruguera hosted a similar event in 2009.

She shared her thoughts about the incident with the Los Angeles Times in an interview published on Saturday.

"I really thought I could use the public space for this conversation. What I wanted to do was to activate a metaphor, a way of saying: Give people the power to say what they want. But I disagree that it was a failure. It wasn't a failure. It was a success. It was just a different performance. But it shows the moment we are at politically," Bruguera said, according to the Times.

She said she is currently seeking legal representation.

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The Human Rights Foundation is calling on Cuban President Raul Castro to dismiss a case against performance artist Tania Bruguera, who was arrested last month after attempting a performance related to free speech.
tania bruguera, cuba, castro, human rights foundation
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Tuesday, 13 Jan 2015 03:39 PM
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