On the morning of today, November 7, 2019, the wife of José Daniel Ferrer, Nelva Ismarays Ortega Tamayo, and three minor children of José Daniel Ferrer García, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, UNPACU, were able to confirm that the Human Rights activist is being slowly murdered.
They saw him in an office and in the presence of an officer, in the Aguadores prison in Santiago de Cuba, for 5 minutes, in which he was able to narrate very quickly most that has happened to him. The visit ended when José Daniel tore the prison uniform that had been forcibly put on him, at which point the family could appreciate the signs of torture throughout his body.
They are killing him in slow motion and before the whole world
Nelva Ismarays Ortega Tamayo, a specialist in Integral General Medicine in Cuba, with registration number 186670, and wife of José Daniel Ferrer, has made the following medical diagnosis of his condition through a brief eye exam, corroborated by all witnesses present, sons and daughters of the victim:
- He has lost more than half of his body weight.
- He is hunched over and could barely hug them because he has almost no muscular strength.
- He has also largely lost his vision and voice.
- He looks like a very sick old man.
- He has his face partially striped, bruises in the thoracic, abdominal, upper, lower and back extremities.
- On his back there are traces of friction burns and marks of strokes with sticks.
Since they were supplying dirty and/or semi-fecal, fetid and pestilent waters for drinking, and spoiled food that were causing him acute acidity to his already aggravated chronic disease of gastritis and ulcer, with which he already entered prison, José Daniel told his family that he went on a hunger strike -part of the time also thirst strike- for 25 days, which began on October 6 while he was in the Provincial Unit of Criminal Instruction of Santiago de Cuba
He said that, in that state, he was transferred to Aguadores prison on October 9 and taken to a punishment cell. In that prison they gave him a brutal beating and dressed him in a uniform of a common prisoner by force, something that represents a transgression and humiliation for a prisoner of conscience and that they never accept. He broke the uniform in protest. On 8 occasions they have forced him to wear common prisoner’s clothes and on 8 occasions he has refused to wear them, despite being forced by force and blows to dress him that way, finally keeping him half-naked for a good part of the 30 days he has remained in that prison, refusing to provide other clothing that was not the one that would cause humiliation.
He explained that in the punishment cell where they keep him, they placed a common prisoner named Israel Frómeta with an extensive criminal and aggressive penal history, who frequently beats him, every time he raises his voice and protests, or simply when he demands medical attention. The same prisoner himself told him that he has the guidance of the prison authorities, represented by Major Montoya, to kill him. He also described that this criminal, Israel Frómeta, has a knife inside the cell with him, with the approval of the aforementioned officer, and that he constantly threatens to use it against José Daniel.
He went on to say that since he was arrested until today, he only received medical attention last Sunday, only in the face of a critical situation, and later only an antacid pill yesterday afternoon.
Despite their extreme state of health, the torture is systematic and constant:
- They beat him periodically.
- They keep him half naked in a wet and cold cell.
- They shackle him hands and feet.
- They drag him causing friction burns.
- Daily, he is offended and verbally abused.
- They constantly repeat that he will not leave alive from there.
- He was threatened to double the torture if he told these things to his family during the visit.
Finally, he said that, after the hunger strike, he was transferred to a detachment for 4 days (usual detention cells), where he was able to secretly send the letter that was recently published
He is currently in a punishment cell again.
Moments before he was handcuffed and violently taken away, with the few physical forces that he had left, in protest, he tore the uniform he was wearing and told his family firmly that from that moment he resumed his hunger strike. He expressed textually while taken by force: «Freedom, Dignity or Death.»
Appeal to the European Union and Spain
The silence of the European Commission and the Delegations of each of their countries has resulted in an absolute failure in the field of human rights in Cuba, a very high cost of unworthiness, very high frustration in the most dignified diplomatic corps, and requires an immediate reorientation.
In Europe we cannot maintain a dialogue agreement that contains articles 1.5, 2c), 5 and 22 of the ADPC with Cuba while this, and similar things, continue to happen in that country on a daily basis. Thus
- Between diplomacy and decency there must be priorities that can be assumed in the face of a diaphanous atrocity, committed as a direct challenge of Cuba to ratify that the articles of the APDC referred above, in case of accepting this situation, will never be respected. We interpret the current situation as a test and challenge of strength of Cuba before the European Union in which Cuba counts that Europe will not react, thereby squandering any future positive influence. We urge, therefore, that the delegations of the most demanding countries in the field of human rights in Cuba, which have so far remained silent even against their own will, rebel against the situation and condemn this atrocity publicly, although is one more among a million.
- We urge that countries that have not yet ratified the bilateral agreement with Cuba, Sweden and Lithuania, give a public ultimatum to Cuba regarding its ratification if said articles are not fulfilled, starting with this case and continuing thereafter for others thousands of extremely serious situations that are not the subject of this press release, but that the European Union and its members, and between them these two countries, know perfectly: arbitrary mass arrests and police violence, political prison, pre-criminal prison against thousands of civilians, slavery in civil medical missions, labour exploitation, forced labour to convicts, forced expatriations, artistic repression, discrimination based on race, sex or religion … The list is too long to be covered in this note.
- We urge the government of Pedro Sánchez, as long as the situation continues in this state and José Daniel Ferrer is not immediately released, to express diplomatically an ultimatum of precautionary annulment of the mandate of the visit of the Kings of Spain to Cuba, which exposes at a very serious risk the world image of the constitutional institution that brought, with the reign of D. Juan Carlos I and by his direct action, precisely democracy to the Kingdom of Spain, exactly so that these same events never happened in the history of this country anymore.
Case chronological history
- October 1 arrest report:
- First reactions: OAS and Amnesty International:
- Habeas Corpus presented in favour of José Daniel Ferrer:
- Response to Habeas Corpus denying freedom and denying information on the cause (the answer is a violation of the Habeas Corpus principle, as indicated by the United Nations in José Daniel Ferrer’s case):
- Reaction and mandate to Cuba from the Committee against Enforced Disappearances of the United Nations (José Daniel Ferrer):
- Reaction and mandate to Cuba from the Committee against Enforced Disappearances of the United Nations (José Pupo Chaveco):
- Reaction and mandate to Cuba from the Committee against Enforced Disappearances of the United Nations (Fernando González Vaillant):
- Unsuccessful call to action to the European Union:
- Letter of José Daniel Ferrer from prison: