Update – Human rights defenders Ms Ivonne Malleza Galano and Mr Ignacio Martínez Montejo resume hunger strike
On 12 December 2011, human rights defenders, and husband and wife, Ms Ivonne Malleza Galano and Mr Ignacio Martínez Montejo resumed their hunger strikes in protest at their continued detention.
Ivonne Malleza Galano and Ignacio Martínez Montejo were violently arrested on 30 November 2011 for taking part in a peaceful protest in Fraternity Park in Havana.
On 10 December 2011, Ivonne Malleza Galano, who had initially been held incommunicado, managed to place a call to Ms Mayra Morejón, member of Damas de Blanco, and informed her that she was being held at the VIVAC Processing Centre on Calabazar Street, in Havana, where her husband is also being held.
On the morning of 12 December 2011, several family members of Ivonne Malleza Galano and Ignacio Martínez Montejo were allowed to visit the human rights defenders in the presence of an unnamed security agent who told them that the defenders had been charged with public disorder and that the investigation could take up to 60 days. Ivonne Malleza Galano and Ignacio Martínez Montejo informed their relatives that they had been on hunger strike from the time of their detention on 30 November until 10 December. In the presence of the official who supervised the brief visit, they declared their intention to resume the hunger strike on 12 December 2011. Front Line expresses its concern for the physical integrity of both human rights defenders, who are both reported to suffer from serious health problems.
According to the Comisión Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional (Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation) more than 300 persons were arbitrarily detained since 5 December 2011 in order to prevent them from participating in events to mark Human Rights Day on 10 December. Whilst welcoming the release, on 12 December 2011, of human rights defender and former political prisoner of conscience Mr José Daniel Ferrer García, Front Line reiterates its calls on the Cuban authorities to release all those human rights defenders and activists who remain in detention, including Ivonne Malleza Galano, Ignacio Martínez Montejo, and former political prisoner of conscience Mr Ángel Moya Acosta.