The Algemeiner, December 5, 2012 @ 8:49pm
Josefina Vidal, head of North American Affairs at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, said in a press conference Wednesday that the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has informed Cuba that the country’s ongoing detention of Jewish-American contractor Alan Gross violates international law, the Associated Press reported. Dec. 3 marked the three-year anniversary of Gross’s arrest. He was sentenced to a 15-year prison term for helping Cuba’s Jewish community access the Internet. The contents of the UN arbitrary detention group’s ruling in favor of Gross, despite Vidal’s admission of defeat, have not yet been publicly released by Cuba. Gross’s attorney, Jared Genser, in a press release called for Cuba to reveal the full UN judgment “so that the international community can see what the United Nations has itself said.”
Comprised of neutral experts from Chile, Norway, Pakistan, Senegal, and Ukraine, the UN working group issues opinions that are not binding or enforceable, but could still be significant, Genser told JNS.org in October. “Having an independent and impartial group in the United Nations saying that he’s been held in violation of international law provides a very strong political and public relations tool to put pressure on the government of Cuba to resolve the case,” Genser said.