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1500 Women say: Free Ana Belen Montes!

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1500 Women say: Free Ana Belen Montes!

To The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the honorable Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein:

I sign this petition on behalf of Puerto Rican Prisoner of Conscience Ana Belen Montes (Inmate FMC 25037-016), who was sentenced to 25 years in prison with no parole for following her conscience and not the law.

In September of 2001, she was accused of “conspiracy to commit espionage” in favor of Cuba and pleaded guilty for her actions. Although she used her position in the defense Department to assist Cuba in defending itself against the US' belligerent actions. She did so in the greater interest of seeing peace, harmony and friendship between the two countries, with no intention of harming anyone through her actions.

After her sentencing, she was transferred to the Federal Medical Center, Carswell, within the U.S.A .Navy military Base in Fort Worth, Texas. This federal prison is for criminals with mental or physical illness; she is confined in the psychiatric area, although she is free from any illness of this kind. She has been kept under extreme and inhumane isolation. She can ONLY receive correspondence from relatives or friends who belong to a list of 20 people, who knew her before her imprisonment. She can ONLY receive visits from the same limited group of people she corresponds with. She can ONLY speak to her mother every week. Although she may NOW interact with other prisoners, the mental conditions of much of the population of Carswell make it difficult for her to develop friendships within the prison.

The temporary Special Administrative Measures specified in the plea agreement (restricting her access to computers and the media), do not preclude her from normal visits, emails and phone calls, yet she is still denied this normal human contact. She has served more than half of her sentence without committing any infractions of prison rules during her imprisonment.  She has done nothing that would justify keeping her in total isolation as a punishment. Isolation units can be legally used only for a given period of time, not indefinitely.

As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declared in 2015: “We are determined to live as good neighbors based on mutual respect, and we would like to see the citizens of the United States and of Cuba turn towards the future with hope,” Ana had the same wish in 2002 when she said she hoped her actions would, “encourage our government to abandon its hostility towards Cuba and to work with Havana in a spirit of tolerance, mutual respect and understanding". 

Obviously, she is far from being a violent criminal or a mercenary spy, but a peaceful person seeking better relations between the U.S. and Cuba. She never received any money from the Cuban government nor was she recruited through any sordid blackmail tactic. She did not act out of vengeance or desire to obtain power in any way. None of the information she shared with Cuba jeopardized national security.

In October of 2016, Ana was diagnosed with Breast cancer and is an elderly woman who poses no threat to national security or to the community at large.

I, respectfully, ask that you intervene in the case of Ana Belen Montes and help to set her free. She has suffered enough and has paid her debt to society. She should live the remainder of her life with her family and friends.

Thank you,

1000 Women say: Free Ana Belen Montes!


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