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EU. EURO LAWMAKERS BLAST EU'S SOFTER LINE TOWARD CUBA

April 28, 2005: the European Union's legislative branch expressed its dissent with the executive over policy toward Cuba, condemning a shift seeking rapprochement with the Communist-ruled island that included suspension of diplomatic sanctions.
The European Parliament approved a document with a paragraph on Cuba that "condemns the sudden change of strategy and lifting of sanctions by the Council," which comprises heads of state and government from the blocs 24 member nations.
By a vote of 251-64 with 255 abstentions, Euro lawmakers accepted that portion of the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2004, a text dealing with the state of basic liberties in more than 70 nations.
Most of the abstentions were by Socialist members of the body.
EU members agreed in January on the "temporary suspension" of the diplomatic sanctions imposed on Cuba in June 2003.
Those measures, adopted in response to the jailing of 75 peaceful dissidents and the execution of three would-be emigrant ferry hijackers, included a restriction on high-level official visits to Cuba, a reduction in cultural exchanges with the island and inviting government foes to national-day events at EU embassies in Havana.
The report approved with the vote, drafted under the direction of conservative Irish parliamentarian Simon Coveney, denounced the softer approach to Fidel Castro's regime.
Cuba was mentioned in two of the document's 231 paragraphs, the second of which - condemning the Cuban government's resumption of capital punishment after a years-long moratorium on executions - provoked no opposition in the European Parliament.
But leftist legislators insisted that the paragraph with the passage condemning the EU's new policy be voted on in two separate parts.
The Socialists raised no objections to the report's call for "Cuba to accept the right of free assembly and free speech and to immediately restore the unofficial moratorium on the death penalty" or to language denouncing the imprisonment of political opponents and urging their immediate release. (Sources: EFE News Service, 28/04/2005)

IRAN. GAY BLACKMAILER HANGED
YEMEN. MOTHER, 21, FACES FIRING SQUAD
UNITED STATES. AKBAR SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING COMRADES
CHINA. FORMER LEGISLATOR SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR RAPE, FRAUD
CHINA. NEW WAVE OF ARRESTS AGAINST FALUN GONG
INDIA. SEVEN SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER AMERICAN CENTRE ATTACK
UNITED STATES. DEATH SENTENCES FALL TO RECORD LOW SINCE 1976, THE NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
CHINA. NINE GANG MEMBERS EXECUTED IN XUCHANG AFTER DEATH PENALTY UPHELD
AFGHANISTAN. WOMAN STONED TO DEATH FOR ADULTERY
CHINA. WEN SAYS COUNTRY WORKING HARD TO RATIFY UN RIGHTS CONVENTION
INDIANA. EXECUTED FOR RAPE AND MURDER
CUBA. OLIVIERO TOSCANI’S EXHIBITION ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN CASTRO’S REGIME OPENS IN BARCELONA
PHILIPPINES. TWO SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR PEDDLING ECSTASY
IRAN. HANGED FOR MURDER
NIGERIA. COURT SENTENCES 15 TO DEATH BY HANGING FOR MURDERS
GENEVA. EX DEATH ROW INMATE MAKES PLEA FOR A UN MORATORIUM ON EXECUTIONS
SAUDI ARABIA. EGYPTIAN BEHEADED FOR RAPE, MURDER
CARIBBEAN. LEADERS INAUGURATE OWN COURT OF JUSTICE
BANGLADESH. 22 ON DEATH ROW FOR AWAMI LEADER KILLING
U.N. RIGHTS BODY KEEPS PRESSURE ON CUBA
USA. LETHAL INJECTION EXECUTION 'CRUEL', RESEARCHERS
IRAN. MAN PUBLICLY HANGED FOR ROBBING BANK
NACDL. 2005 SPRING MEETING AND THE DEATH PENALTY
NEW YORK, USA. LAWMAKERS VOTE NOT TO REINSTATE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
IRAN. TWO MEN HANGED FOR MURDER
IRAQ. NEW PRESIDENT OPPOSED TO SADDAM DEATH SENTENCE
GENEVA. BRIEFING FOR RELAUNCHING A UN MORATORIUM ON EXECUTIONS
IRAN. POLITICAL PRISONER FACING IMMINENT EXECUTION
COUNCIL OF EUROPE. FRATTINI PROPOSES EUROPEAN ANTI DEATH PENALTY DAY
JAPAN. SUPREME COURT GIVES GO-AHEAD TO EXECUTE FIRST DOOMSDAY CULT MEMBER

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