14ymedio, Havana, 28 July 2018 — The Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) has asked French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to intercede for the release of activist Eduardo Cardet, during his visit to Cuba on Saturday, according to the Catholic news agency Aciprensa.
Le Drian is the first member of French President Emmanuel Macron’s government to visit the island and will meet with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez. His arrival coincides with the first hundred days of Miguel Díaz-Canel’s term as president of Cuba.
In its letter, the MCL asks Le Drian “to intercede with the Cuban authorities for the freedom of our national coordinator, Eduardo Cardet (elected in 2014 as Oswaldo Payá’s successor), who is recognized as a prisoner of conscience.”
The letter was delivered by the Cuban writer Zoé Valdés, resident in Paris, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the officials explained that they knew of the case of Cardet and the minister would have the letter in his hands “shortly.”
In the letter, the opposition movement details that Cardet “was violently arrested on November 30, 2016 at the door of his house” in Holguín, and was subsequently convicted of an alleged crime of assault on authority in a “manipulated trial.”
The three-year prison sentence aims to “prevent his peaceful activism for a democratic change in Cuba through legal means, especially by coordinating the ‘One Cuban, one vote’ campaign that calls for changing the current electoral law so that it will be democratic and inclusive,” says the letter.
This week the NGO UN Watch filed a complaint with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions to demand that the island’s authorities release Cardet. UN Watch lawyers registered the case against the Cuban State last July 23 with this independent organ of the UN formed by five jurists and experts in human rights.
UN Watch denounces that since his arrest, Cardet has been beaten, he has been denied medical treatment, visits by a priest and in a “routine” way also those of his family members, in addition to being denied bail.
On May 26, authorities suspended family visits for a period of six months as “punishment for the family’s campaign for the release” of Cardet and agents of the State Security have “harassed” and are monitoring the family of the dissident.
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