The ongoing and nearly three-week disappearing of Cuban opposition leader Jose Daniel Ferrer by the Castro dictatorship is just another “mechanism of repression” in socialist Cuba.
The detention of Jose Daniel Ferrer is a ‘mechanism of repression against all civil society’
The detention of the national leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), Jose Daniel Ferrer, “is a mechanism of indirect repression against all civil society and of course, a serious violation of human rights,” said attorney Laritza Diversent.
In an interview with Diario de Cuba, the director of the Legal Information Center (CUBALEX) warned that with the arrest and “disappearing” of the opposition leader for nearly 20 days, along with three other UNPACU activists, the regime is violating its own legal code, to which it claims to adhere.
“If we look at the Penal Procedures Law, the Cuban police right now have the authority to detain any person for 24 hours without providing a reason. After 24 hours the case has to go to a judge who has three days to decide if the person should remain detained. In total the procedure provides seven days,” she explained.
“In the case of Ferrer, the principal violation is one of access to information because they have kept him completely incommunicado. The isolation places the person at risk of being forcibly disappeared, which is why authorities have to report where they’re being held and allow communication with family members. If a prosecutor orders him to be held, they should have given access to that information to the family so they can obtain a lawyer, according to their rights,” she said.
The family of the opposition leader has on several occasions denounced that the regime has denied to provide them proof the opposition leader is still alive, despite their constant visits to the Aguadores prison where he was supposedly transferred.
On Tuesday, Nelva Ortega, Ferrer’s wife, was violently removed from the prison after arriving there to visit him after she was told by prison authorities there was a possibility she could see him. Nevertheless, the official who organizes family visits said he did not find his name among the list of prisoners.
“The judicial lesson in this case is that they do whatever they want with the law,” warned Diversent. “When it comes to the opposition, they try to make an example of them, especially during moments when the regime is very nervous. To arrest someone as visible as Ferrer has a chilling effect on freedom of expression. It’s about a mechanism of indirect repression against all of civil society and of course, a serious violation of human rights, which includes arbitrary detentions and forced disappearances.”
In regards to any political costs the regime may have over the detention and disappearing of Ferrer, Diversant advised: “The Cuban regime doesn’t really care about political costs. They always have a way to justify themselves, and they will always justify themselves.”
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