No political prisoners seen on list of pardoned Cuban inmates

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 11, 2015 3:20 PM

HAVANA (Reuters) - None of the 3,522 prisoners pardoned by the Cuban government on Friday appear to be political prisoners, according to a Reuters review of a list of political prisoners published by the dissident Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation.

Commission members said they were still reviewing a 129-page document published by the government that lists all the names of those to be released. Cuba said it would pardon the prisoners on the occasion of the Sept. 19-22 visit by Pope Francis.

The Reuters review showed only one of the 3,522 names appeared to match those on a list of 60 political prisoners published by the human rights commission in June. But the commission said that name appeared to be a coincidence as the circumstances of their cases differed.

However, the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), Cuba's largest dissident organization, said it considered one of those pardoned to be a political prisoner because he took up political activism in jail. The human rights commission said it had excluded that prisoner because of a history of violent crime.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Frances Kerry)