A letter addressed to Díaz-Canel demands "freedom without banishment" for Cuban political prisoners

A letter addressed to Díaz-Canel demands "freedom without banishment" for Cuban political prisoners

A letter addressed to Díaz-Canel demands "freedom without banishment" for Cuban political prisoners

More than 300 opponents, activists and family members have called for “freedom without exile” for Cuban political prisoners in a letter addressed to the ruler Miguel Díaz-Canel. With the subject “Voices for the freedom of our Cuban political prisoners” and dated July 3, 2023, the letter insists that “economic, civil and political liberties” are not recognized in the country and “legal regulations are created that legalize the violation and punishment of the rights and duties of citizens”.

“The past has been controlled, manipulated and erased, the present is controlled and distorted and the future is in control with an uncertain design where human rights are not seen to be essential in a democratic culture,” the document added. For the signatories, among whom there are more than 40 relatives of political prisoners, it is not allowed that “everyone can express their ideas freely and be fully respected and in any circumstance, without fear of being persecuted, mistreated or condemned for their opinions”. .

In the text they also claim the Communist Party, the Parliament and the Prosecutor’s Office for the conditions in which they keep the opposition member José Daniel Ferrer García, confined in a prison in Santiago de Cuba “under constant physical, verbal and psychological attacks.” It also blames the authorities for the “hundreds of men, many of them over 60 years of age and even women who are mothers of minor children and others who are adolescents and young people, all of them confined under unjust sentences.”

“The past has been controlled, manipulated and erased, the present is controlled and distorted and the future is in control with an uncertain design where human rights are not seen to be essential in a democratic culture”

The signatories point out that in Cuban prisons “the human rights of the incarcerated are violated, including those with any disability, and that because they are political prisoners, the regime of mistreatment, beatings and punishment in isolation cells is applied with greater severity”. Added to this is the “inattention to the health” of the prisoners, “the lack of medicines to control their illnesses and the precarious diet to which they are subjected.”

“Ignoring this situation is cruel and inhumane,” they insist before concluding their statement with a call to all Cubans to “make visible the situation of people imprisoned for their ideas and who have been sentenced to long years in prison.” “Let’s remember that the popular demonstration of July 11, 2021 did constitute a reaction of the people and raging youth who loudly demanded Freedom, Freedom, Freedom.”

Nelva Ortega, wife of José Daniel Ferrer and one of the signatories of the letter, was unable to speak with the opponent and leader of the Cuban Patriotic Union (Unpacu) this Tuesday at the Mar Verde prison, where they had scheduled a conjugal visit. According to reported the dissident’s sister, Ana Belkis Ferrer, the authorities only allowed the woman a glimpse of her husband, after leading her down the corridor that leads to his isolation cell.

Ferrer’s sister recalls that the opponent, imprisoned since August 2021, is kept in “cruel, inhuman and degrading conditions” and suffers “constant physical and psychological torture.”

Ferrer continues refusing, according to his relatives, to wear the uniform of a common prisoner and does not accept any negotiation regarding his exile. In addition, he persists in condemning any relief of the US sanctions on the Island and expresses his support for Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion.

The dissident’s sister, Ana Belkis Ferrer, reported that the authorities only allowed the woman a glimpse of her husband, after leading her down the corridor that leads to his isolation cell.

They also recalled the deplorable state of health of the prisoner, who does not receive medical attention despite his “severe pain in his hands, arms, legs, back, head, and teeth.” The medicines, administered arbitrarily by their jailers, the family assures, have to be sent to them from outside the prison.

After numerous claims to obtain proof of Ferrer’s life, the authorities they agreed for his family to visit him on June 22, after three months without being able to see him. His wife and his two children confirmed that the Unpacu leader is in a terrible state of health, half-naked and confined to an isolation cell.

“It is totally confirmed that my brother is being murdered in the slowest, most perverse and cruel way that can exist, in the midst of such a difficult and worrying situation, he sends his message of gratitude to all the supportive people, friends, brothers in struggle and ideas , media, institutions and justice-loving governments,” his sister lamented at the time. “He states that he does not lose hope of getting out of such hell alive, but if he does not, remember that he was always willing to give his life for the freedom of his people.”

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