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2005 Nobel Peace Prize nomination for Payá, Rivero and Biscet

2005-01-01 / Roisin Joyce

Cuban dissidents Oswaldo Payá, Raúl Rivero and Elias Biscet were nominated in January 2005 for the Nobel Peace Prize by ICDC member and former Nobel Peace Prize nominee Vaclav Havel for their contribution to the fight for human rights and democracy in Cuba.

Cuban dissidents Oswaldo Payá, Raúl Rivero and Elias Biscet were nominated in January 2005 for the Nobel Peace Prize by ICDC member and former Nobel Peace Prize nominee Vaclav Havel for their contribution to the fight for human rights and democracy in Cuba. The decision to extend the nomination to encorporate Mr Rivero and Mr Biscet in addition to Mr Paya was taken due to a desire to extend recognition of those working for human rights in Cuba and to extend international awareness of their activities. The movement was supported by ICDC members and hundreds of other presidents, politicians and intellectuals from America, Europe and Asia. In addition to recognizing the work of Mr Payá, Mr Rivero and Mr Biscet, the nomination also demonstrated support for the entire Cuban democratic movement, and helped raise international awareness of the situation in Cuba.

Mr Payá heads the Varela Project, a movement that aims to bring democratic change to Cuba through a referendum on political and economic reforms. Mr Rivero is an independent opposition journalist and writer who, in 2003, was arrested and sentenced to 20 years in prison on the charge of acting and writing against the government. He was released in November 2004. Elias Biscet is the founder of the Lawton Foundation, a Cuban human rights organization that encourages nonviolent civil disobedience that was deemed illegal by Fidel Castro. Mr Biscet was arrested in 2003 and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

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