By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
PHILADELPHIA, October 29, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com)
President George W. Bush has announced this year’s recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civil award.
Prominently named on the list of eight is Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, who is currently serving a 25 year prison sentence for pro-life activities and peaceful demonstrations against the Communist regime in Cuba.
Dr. Biscet was originally arrested in 1999 for refusing to perform abortions at the hospital where he worked. He had served two years of a three-year sentence when he was released, but then was re-arrested shortly after and imprisoned again in 2003 for “disorderly conduct” and “counter-revolutionary activities”.
He is the founder of the Lawton Foundation of Human Rights which promotes the study, defense and denunciation of human rights violations inside Cuba and wherever the rights and liberties of human beings are disregarded. This organization has been condemned as illegal by the Cuban government.
His family has been working tirelessly seeking his release from prison. Amnesty International identified Biscet as a “prisoner of conscience” in 1999 and urged international intervention in the case.
In 2003 and again in 2005 the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, in response to petitions, and appeals from groups such as Freedom Now, a non-profit organization located in Washington, D.C., called on the Government of the Republic of Cuba to immediately release Dr. Biscet. Despite these appeals, Dr. Biscet remains imprisoned.
A website dedicated to securing the release of Dr. Biscet from jail and promulgating his ideas may be reached here: http://www.free-biscet.org ;
“Oscar Elias Biscet,” the statement from the White House Press Secretary announcing the award reads, is a champion in the fight against tyranny and oppression. Despite being persecuted and imprisoned for his beliefs, he continues to advocate for a free Cuba in which the rights of all people are respected.”