Oscar Elias Biscet, 2022 winner
Dr. Biscet is one of the most outstanding figures of Cuban civil society and has been labeled as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. For several years, Dr. Biscet has hosted a weekly radio program titled Lawton Libre. Dr. Biscet’s radio program reaches the audience in Cuba through Radio Martí broadcasts on short wave and 1180am, and through our digital and social media platforms.
The program originates from Havava and is co-produced in Cuba and from our production center in Miami. Week after week, Lawton Libre offers the perspective of the Cuban citizen who longs to know the reality of the country and of the world. Dr. Biscet informs on cases of human rights violations that are constantly carried out by the Cuban government, and the fight for the individual freedoms of Cubans on the island. In an objective, clear and balanced manner, he frequently refers to the repressions committed by the security forces in Cuba, as well as the actions of the government against democracy, and the plight of those who suffer personally from the abuses of a system that does not allows it to manifest. Dr. Biscet’s perspective is that of a Cuban who advocates for the instruction of his fellow Cubans in the principles of respect for human rights, non-violent civil disobedience, freedom, and democracy.
Dr. Biscet’s program covers topics such as the repression of women in Iran, the Russian invasion of Ukranian territory, and other international topics of interest to Cubans living in Cuba and around the world. He also delves into topics not examined by state media, such as the arrest and imprisonment of those who protest for freedom, the mistreatment of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, or the limitation of the internet.
His history of civil activism dates back to the end of the 20th century; he has been imprisoned on several occasions and has spent nearly a decade behind bars. Amnesty International declared Dr. Biscet a prisoner of conscience in 2003; he was released in 2011 due to international pressure.
In addition to his work for OCB, Dr. Biscet publishes opinion columns in newspapers and magazines such as Newsweek, Diario Las Américas, ACI Prensa, National Review, The Hill, etc. He was awarded the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007 by President George W. Bush.