The Cuban opponent Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, arrested in the maximum security prison of Guanajay, has been transferred to a “walled-up and solitary cell,” according to reports in a statement published this Friday the San Isidro Movement (MSI).
During a family visit, Alcántara denounced that the Police, after classifying his situation as “at risk”, proceeded to remove him from the cell where he was, shared with other inmates. One of these prisoners, sentenced to 51 years in prison, had been instructed by State Security “to attack Luis Manuel,” according to another MSI report offered on July 21.
The “harassment” and “provocations” suffered by Alcántara were the cause of the transfer, which occurred four days before the family visit, explained the activist himself. He adds to the statement that the artist has been infected with dengue fever, “like other prisoners”, and that he frequently “suffers from cramps in his hands and feet”, without receiving adequate medical attention.
The MSI adds that Alcántara has been subjected to physical and psychological violence not only by some inmates, but also by the prison officers themselves. Until a few days ago, the artist was deprived of his drawing materials and is not allowed to receive correspondence from activists and friends such as Katherine Bisquet, Coco Fusco or Anamely Ramos.
The “harassment” and “provocations” suffered by Alcántara were the cause of the transfer, which occurred four days before the family visit, explained the activist himself.
The San Isidro Movement concludes its statement by holding the Cuban government responsible for Alcántara’s physical and mental integrity, and describing the repression to which he is subjected as “the only tool the regime has to try to intimidate and coerce Cuban opponents.”
According to the curator Claudia Genlui on July 21, the artist lacks the minimum stability in prison and his situation is constantly changing. Until he was transferred to the common cell and suffered harassment by one of his companions, Alcántara was punished and “without even being able to access sunlight.”
That transfer functioned as retaliation for the hunger strike he began on July 4. “It is evident how State Security tries to provoke a conflict in which Luis Manuel is affected,” Genlui assured on that occasion.
Although Alcántara tried not to confront the guards or the inmate who harassed him, the repression has been increasing. “He is not in a camp, he is suffering, he is under torture and his life is in danger,” added the curator.
Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara and Maykel Castillo osorbfounders and members of the MSI, they have been imprisoned since last yearand were tried ten months later, five and nine years after deprivation of freedomrespectively.
State Security offered both their release in exchange for leaving the country. However, both Castillo and Alcántara declared that “leaving Cuba, exiled, stripped of everything, is not an option.”
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