Oscar Elias BiscetCuba

Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet is a doctor and noted advocate for human rights and democratic freedom in Cuba. He was serving a 25 year prison sentence for allegedly committing crimes against the sovereignty and integrity of the Cuban territory. The Cuban Government released Dr. Biscet on March 11, 2011.

Dr. Biscet founded the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights and is a leader of Friends of Human Rights, a grassroots organization through which small groups of civilians discuss human rights.

Dr. Biscet was arrested on December 6, 2002, in Havana on the way to a colleague’s home to attend a meeting of the Friends of Human Rights. When police tried to arrest Dr. Biscet, he and 16 colleagues sat on the ground and chanted, “long live human rights” and “freedom for political prisoners.” Everyone in the group was beaten and arrested. Dr. Biscet’s arrest came only six weeks after his release from a prior illegal prison term, also resulting from his support for human rights in Cuba.

During his most recent term of imprisonment, the Government of Cuba subjected Dr. Biscet to inhumane treatment, including confining him to a punishment cell barely larger than his own body for seven months and refusing to feed him for three weeks. During his imprisonment, Dr. Biscet lost 40 pounds and nearly all of his teeth. He suffers from hypertension, gastric ulcers, chronic gastritis, and hypercholesterolemia.

Since engaging on his case in 2005, Freedom Now conducted extensive global outreach to raise international awareness of Dr. Biscet’s case. This included initiating an urgent appeal from several UN special procedures, facilitating the publishing of op-eds, nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize, highlighting his role as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and preparing a report for the UN Human Rights Council prior to Cuba’s universal periodic review

Dr. Biscet’s release — on March 11, 2011 — follows the July 2010 announcement by the Cuban Catholic Church that a number of unjustly-imprisoned Cuban political prisoners would be freed.

On March 14, 2011, Dr. Biscet held his first post-release press conference, linked below.

Click HERE to see part one of Dr. Biscet’s press conference.
Click HERE to see part two of Dr. Biscet’s press conference.
Click HERE to see part three of Dr. Biscet’s press conference.
Click HERE to see part four of Dr. Biscet’s press conference.
Click HERE to see part five of Dr. Biscet’s press conference.

Dr. Biscet continues to be a lively voice for freedom in Cuba. He has thanked Freedom Now for their participation in securing his release.

Selected documents from Oscar Elias Biscet's case
Boston Globe Op-Ed by Yan Valdes MorejonNovember 7, 2007

Announcing that he will accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George Bush on his father's behalf.

Freedom Now Press Release March 11, 2011

Announcing the release of Dr. Oscar Biscet from detention in Cuba.

Freedom Now Press ReleaseOctober 29, 2007

Applauding the decision by President Bush to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mr. Biscet.

Freedom Now Press ReleaseFebruary 11, 2011

Announcing the Nomination of Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet Gonzalez for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.

Individual Submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human RightsFebruary 1, 2009

Submitted by Freedom Now as part of the Universal Periodic Review of the Government of Cuba’s human rights record.

Joint Urgent Appeal (Spanish)September 1, 2005

Issued jointly by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Question of Torture, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders and the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Association and Expression, to the Government of Cuba once again calling for Dr. Biscet's immediate release.

Letter from Dr. BiscetMarch 25, 2011

Thanking Freedom Now for working on his behalf. Dr. Biscet explains that while Freedom Now's work benefited him directly, its effects extend to the entire Cuban community -- that this work represents the steps necessary to create a future of peace, prosperity, and liberty for the whole human race.