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Cubans Ask Dictatorship for Proof of Life of Opposition Leader José Daniel Ferrer

Cubans ask dictatorship for proof of life of opposition leader José Daniel Ferrer

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The exile organization Directorio Democrático Cubano (Cuban Democratic Directorate), opponents, and activists on the island demanded on Monday the Cuban regime an attestation of life of prisoner José Daniel Ferrer, of whom they have had no news, they claim, for 47 days.

“After 47 days without hearing anything from him, not even his voice, opposition activists in Baracoa (eastern Cuba) demanded from the Havana regime a proof of life for José Daniel Ferrer,” said members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unpacu), of which Ferrer is coordinator, according to a communiqué issued by the Directorate.

Ferrer is considered one of the most visible leaders of the Cuban opposition. Imprisoned during the 2003 wave of repression known as “Black Spring,” after his release he continued his activism and was arrested again in 2021 for his participation in the peaceful protests against the regime in July 2021 (11J).

Several Unpacu activists expressed their alarm over the fate of the opposition leader, “who apparently is being held in Mar Verde prison”, in the province of Santiago de Cuba, but who “is not allowed phone calls” nor has he received the last visit from relatives that was due to him last August 26, they denounced.

The Cuban Democratic Directorate joined Unpacu’s denunciation and “demands from the Castro regime the proof of life of this valuable Cuban opponent, as well as his immediate and unconditional release and that of all Cuban political prisoners.”

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) launched at the end of December last year an initiative to urge the Cuban authorities to put an end to the mistreatment it claims Ferrer is suffering, for which it demanded his immediate release.

According to these human rights organizations, Ferrer’s health had already deteriorated “seriously” in the months he had been deprived of his freedom.

The prisoner informed his family at the beginning of last December that he was being held in an isolation cell without windows or contact with the rest of the inmates, and that he was receiving food in a state of decomposition, in addition to the fact that he is obliged to wear only underwear.

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