The organization Prisoners Defenders (PD) presented this Tuesday a new report on torture in Cuba after having compiled the testimonies of 181 political prisoners, including seven women and four minors (incarcerated between the ages of 16 and 18, criminal age on the island ).
In a telematic press conferencethe president of that Madrid-based NGO, Javier Larrondo, asserted that the Cuban regime “tortures each and every one of its political prisoners,” that PD figure currently at 1,048.
Of them, Larrondo said, “the children, the minorsare the most tortured”. In this regard, he gave the examples of Jonathan Torres Farratarrested for demonstrating on July 11, 2021 and who has suffered the 15 types of torture identified in the NGO report, and Gabriela Zequeira Hernández, arrested at the same age and for the same reason, who has been inflicted with 14 types of torture.
This young woman, they denounce, also suffered sexual abuse in prison, at the hands of an agent who warned her “that she was a lesbian” and “put her finger inside her vagina,” the organization’s report reads.
This report is an expansion of the one that PD introduced last year and which documented “15 patterns of ill-treatment and torture” in Cuban prisons: deprivation of medical care, forced labor outside of their criminal sentence, forced to maintain uncomfortable or harmful positions, solitary confinement, use of temperature as a mechanism of torture, physical aggression, transfer to unknown locations, intentional disorientation, deprivation of water or food, sleep and communication with lawyers and relatives, threats to their integrity and that of their loved ones, deployment of weapons or elements of torture , intentional submission to anguish and uncertainty due to the situation of a relative and humiliation, degradation and verbal abuse.
“All these forms of torture are applied in a generalized and systematic way, without any limitation, except (we can intuit) the conscientious objection of some commanders or guards”
“All these forms of torture are applied in a generalized and systematic way, without any limitation, except (we can intuit) the conscientious objection of some commanders or guards. It is alarming that all the most common tortures are, if we analyze them, a set of simple and direct tools, and that do not require an excessive need for control,” denounces the report.
The data from this complaint will be transferred to various international organizations such as the United Nations Committees against Torture and the Rights of the Child, as well as its Human Rights Council and various special rapporteurs of the organization; it will also be transmitted to Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and embassies and representatives of more than 50 democratic governments, among other recipients.
The Cuban jurist Fernando Almeyda – who was an activist of the Archipelago group and ended up going into exile – also participated in the press conference. in February 2022– who was in charge of compiling a large part of the cases, as well as several MEPs, including Leopoldo López Gil, Javier Nart and the Vice President of the European Parliament Dita Charanzová.
Both Larrondo and Nart attacked the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, for not having ruled on political prisoners on his recent visit to Cuba.
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