Cuban dictatorship releases some political prisoners into house arrest, many more remain behind bars

José Daniel Ferrer García, José Pupo Chaveco, Fernando González Vaillant, and Evert Luis Hidalgo.

Amidst the spreading of coronavirus across the island, Cuba’s socialist dictatorship on Friday released Jose Daniel Ferrer and three other political prisoners, placing them under house arrest. Many more prisoners of conscience, however, remain held in Castro gulags.

Via Center for a Free Cuba:

4 Cuban political prisoners sentenced to house arrest; hundreds remain unjustly jailed in Cuba. Center calls on human rights orgs to push for their freedom

CFC welcomes the news of the release of José Daniel Ferrer García together with José Pupo Chaveco, Fernando González Vaillant and Evert Luis Hidalgo of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) who had been jailed alongside the opposition leader in October 2019 and subjected to the same political show trial in February 2020 that fell far short of international standards for a fair trial.  Furthermore, José Daniel and the three other activists were sentenced under house arrest.  The Center for a Free Cuba was able to confirm that  Ferrer García  was sentenced to four and a half years house arrest.  José Daniel made statements to Radio and TV Marti and with Rosa Maria Paya of Cuba Decide.

March 11th marked six months since independent journalist Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces began serving a one year prison sentence. The Cubanet journalist ” was arrested by agents of the National Revolutionary Police (PNR for its initials in Spanish) on April 22 when attempting to cover a trial, as reported by Article 19 of Mexico and other organizations in a joint note.”

Mr. Jesús Quiñones was covering the trial of “two Christian homeschoolers, Pastor Ramón Rigal of the Church of God in Cuba, and his wife Ayda Expósito,” were sentenced to prison “for refusing to send their children to government-run schools,” and began serving their sentence on April 19, 2019. Ayda was released on March 28, 2020, but her husband Jesús remains jailed.

Roberto de Jesús Quiñones is not alone, there are five other prisoners of conscience recognized by Amnesty International: Josiel Guía Piloto, Silverio Portal Contreras, Mitzael Díaz Paseiro, Eliecer Bandera Barrera, and Edilberto Ronal Arzuaga Alcalá, over 127 political prisoners, and over 8,000 Cubans charged with “pre-criminal social dangerousness.”With the threat of the  SARS-CoV-2  it becomes an urgent necessity to obtain their freedom to save their lives. This is why OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro on April 1, 2020 declared over social media that “in the face of the # COVID19 pandemic and lack of sanitary conditions in Cuba’s prisons, asking to free thousands of innocent Cubans who suffer political imprisonment or are in prison without having committed a crime is fair and necessary.”

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