Cuba, August 22, 2007.
The human rights violations in Cuban prisons continue increasing at all levels. Because of this, the latest releases of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience are not proof of a change in the oppression that the people of Cuba face daily. Instead, it simply means that they have been released after serving unjust sentences without committing crimes.
Cubanacán Press independent journalist, Guillermo Fariñas Hernández reported that Roberto Rodríguez Gil, political prisoner and member of the Pedro Luis Boitel Political Prisoners Association (PPPLB), was transferred on August 11th from Prison Kilo 9 to ‘La Empresita’ prison in the city of Camagüey. Authorities transferred him because Rodríguez Gil ‘filtrated’ information of abuses and mistreatment of political prisoners to the independent press.
Roberto Gil informed the press of beatings, lack of medical attention and food, as well as the terrible living conditions of the prisoners. According to Rogelio Suárez Robledo, also prisoner of the PPPLB, Rodríguez Gil stated: “Wherever they hide me, I will continue to denounce the conditions of these fascist concentration camps, because those are today’s Cuban prisons.”
At Ariza 1 prison, in the province of Cienfuegos, political prisoner Alexander García Lima was transferred to a punishment cell that is 1.5 meters long and 3 meters wide. This was done to impede him from organizing a protest on August 13th, the date of Fidel Castro’s birthday. The political prisoner had previously carried out a similar protest on August 13, 2005, after which he received a beating by prison guards as his punishment.
According to Félix Reyes Gutiérrez, source of the information about García Lima- the political prisoner was taken by the Chief penal authority in this prison, Lieutenant Yorlando, first Lieutenant Rafael Acebedo, and 5 guards, to cell #12, where he was locked up. The prison authorities gave him water only twice daily through a pipe that ran along side a hole designated for defecation.
Also, human rights activist René Montes de Oca Martijas reported to the Cuban Democratic Directorate that at the National Inmate Hospital at Combinado del Este prison, political prisoner and member of the Christian Liberation Movement, Efrén Fernández Fernández is denied the nutrition and medical attention he requires. Fernández has been in prison since 2003, for the supposed violation of Law #88- ‘Ley Mordaza’, for which 75 nonviolent activists were sentenced to unjust imprisonment-, and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. His family has solicited authorities a medical parole for Fernández Fernández based on his delicate state of health.
It is evident that the situation that Cuban political prisoners face is one of harassment, cruelty, and tortures, where all fundamental rights of human beings are continuously violated. The Cuban Democratic Directorate calls upon the national and international public opinion so that these barbaric acts against all Cuban prisoners are known to the world.