Saturday, January 28

José Daniel Ferrer in prison, “buried alive and slowly dying”

Correspondent in Havana



“For precisely defending human rights, my situation continues to be dire. My health continues to deteriorate, my headaches, unfortunately, continue with greater or lesser intensity. I am still, more than a prisoner, buried alive and slowly dying, “denounced the leader of the Cuban opposition group Unión Patriótica de Cuba (UNPACU). Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, by phone call made to his wife, Nelva Ismarays Ortega, from the most severe prison known as Mar Verde, in the province of Santiago de Cuba.

The also president of the People’s Party and of the Council for the Democratic Transition in Cuba was arrested along with his son, José Daniel Ferrer Cantillo, on July 11 (11-J) when he was preparing to participate in the massive anti-government protests that took place that day in more than sixty locations around the country.

His 18-year-old son was released days later. A month after incarceration, his family notified that Ferrer García had been sentenced to prison again, under the justification of the alleged violation of the precautionary measure of home confinement, imposed against him in early 2020; for this reason, the Cuban dissident must complete the 4 years remaining from the penalty behind bars.

Despite the moment he is going through, Ferrer asserted that he will remain firm in the fight for human rights in Cuba, and made a call to carry out inside and outside the island “all possible actions, of a civic and non-violent order, in favor of human rights”.

Subhuman conditions

During the almost six months of confinement, Ferrer García has remained most of the time in solitary confinement and they have only allowed him two family visitsThe second of these occurred on December 3, to which they only allowed access to his wife, his two-year-old son Daniel José, and his 17-year-old daughter Fátima Ferrer Cantillo; in the case of his son José Daniel Ferrer Cantillo, as explained by Ferrer García’s sister, Ana Belkis, “the dictatorship determined to prevent the meeting with his father (…) as punishment and revenge for participating in the peaceful demonstration” of November 15 (15-N), when the young man was also arrested.

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Ferrer García was handcuffed during the visit; his wife stated that he is very thin and physically deteriorated, denied access to pencil and sheets and for this reason he has not been able to request religious assistance; They only allow him three books and they also deny him access to newspapers.

Through a statement, the activist’s sister pointed out that José Daniel continues in the same isolation cell, semi-walled, “between four white walls with a light on 24 hours a day, under constant and permanent physical and psychological torture, his body full of mosquito bites, (…) he presents mouth bleeding, strong and unbearable headaches, insomnia, deafening ringing in the ears which he identifies as the sound of crickets, paralysis and momentary tremors in his hands, cooling of his body, loss of vision, cough, in addition to the health problems contracted during previous confinements, such as high blood pressure, chronic gastritis and duodenal ulcer, without medical attention or appropriate medications, (…) terrible and scarce diet and limitation of the food that the family achieves find and allow to take you once a month ».

Acts of repudiation inside prison

Ana Belkis Ferrer He also narrated that every Friday the prison authorities organize an act of repudiation (escrache) in which other inmates shout hateful slogans and threats.

«The communist Castro-Canel dictatorship is doing everything for the purpose of break his will and destroy him both physically and psychologically (…). José Daniel summarizes the worrying and cruel situation in which they keep him, where he does not rule out the application of sonic radiation, as he is buried alive and slowly dying, stating during the visit on this day 3 that he does not know if for the next visit they will find him alive or dead He does not know how long his body will be able to resist, “added the sister of the opposition leader.

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José Daniel Ferrer is part of the more than 700 political prisoners currently existing in Cuba, most of them after 11-J. The NGO Prisoners Defenders denounced that, by means of this “inhuman confinement between 4 walls, without seeing the sunlight and incommunicado,” the Cuban regime “is killing him.”

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