by Steven Ertelt
February 24, 2008
Havana Cuba (LifeNews.com) — With longtime Cuban dictator Fidel Castro stepping down, a human rights group is calling on his brother Raul, who will take his pace as the head of the Communist country, to release Oscar Biscet. The pro-life doctor is currently jailed in Cuba for protesting abortions.
Biscet was arrested and served three years in a prison camp after publishing an article condemning abortion.
After he was released, Biscet was arrested again and is serving 22 years in prison for anti-government views.
On Thursday, the Miami-based Lawton Foundation for Human Rights issued a call for Biscet’s release, according to a statement LifeNews.com obtained.
"We demand the immediate release of Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet Gonzalez and all the Cuban political prisoners, so that this peaceful human rights activist may continue his struggle for justice in Cuba," the group said.
The group called on international media outlets, elected officials and human rights groups to join the call and to "denounce the unjust incarceration" of Biscet ""whose only crime is to honor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in his own country."
President Bush honored Biscet in November with the highest honor the government can give to a civilian, giving him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Yan Valdes and Winnie Biscet were on hand to accept the award for their father, Oscar .
"For speaking the truth Dr. Biscet has endured repeated harassment, beatings, and detentions. The international community agrees that Dr. Biscet’s imprisonment is unjust, yet the regime has refused every call for his release," President Bush said.
"God willing, he’ll soon regain his freedom, as justice demands," the president added. "He deserves to be reunited with his wife, Elsa, and all their family. And the land they call home deserves to be free."
Biscet is more than a physician in his native Cuba. He is an outspoken abortion opponent in a pro-abortion nation that doesn’t take kindly to dissent.
Born in Havana, Cuba, in 1961, Biscet received his degree as a specialist in internal medicine, and, by 1987, he was practicing and teaching obstetrics at the Hijas de Galicia hospital in the nation’s capital city.
In the early 1990s, the drug Rivanol was being used to provide young Cuban women with chemically induced abortions, Raimundo Rojas, the Hispanic Outreach Director for National Right to Life, tells LifeNews.com.
Dr. Biscet began researching and compiling evidence as to how this strong abortifacient was being used to destroy children. He also documented many accounts of children being killed after surviving this type of abortion.
Biscet eventually wrote a paper titled "Rivanol: A Method to Destroy Life," that he published in April 1998. Later that year, he denounced the Cuban National Health System as being a party to genocide, Rojas said.
Shortly thereafter, the nation’s health system officially expelled Biscet, preventing him from practicing medicine in Cuba.
In February 1999 Dr. Biscet staged a peaceful pro-life protest in front of an abortion facility notorious for providing Rivanol abortions. He and another pro-life doctor were savagely beaten by a mob.
"He was tried and sentenced to three years in jail for simply stating the truth," Rojas told LifeNews.com.
Biscet served the entirety of his three year term.
One month after his release, Dr. Biscet was arrested while meeting with other dissidents in a private home. He was again savagely beaten and this time sentenced to 25 years in jail, Rojas explained.
"His torture at the hands of Castro’s henchmen is well documented and he continues to speak from his cell for the dignity of all life including that of the unborn," Rojas says.
"Dr. Biscet is a champion of human rights and most deserving of this medal. As a Cuban-born pro-life activist, I pray for Dr. Biscet and his family every day. I am most grateful to this administration for bringing to light the plight of this great man," Rojas added.
Cuba is the exception to the norm when it comes to Latin American nations and abortions. Countries in Central and South America typically have strong pro-life laws prohibiting all or most abortions, in concert with their Catholic faith.
Cuba, on the other hand, legalized abortion 40 years ago and it has become a method of contraception.