14ymedio, Havana, 17 June 2020 — Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara has been released after spending the entire day on Wednesday being held in the Villa Marista detention center. The artist had been arrested in the morning, when he went to file a complaint about the police mistreatment that he and rapper Maykel Castillo suffered last Thursday. According to what he told this newspaper, they told him that they had detained him because they thought that, in addition to delivering the document, he was going to stage a ’performance’ or provocation.
Curators Anamely Ramos and Claudia Genlui were also arrested and released. In addition, the rapper Maykel Castillo, who had been missing since Tuesday, was released.
“Anamelys Ramos, Claudia Genlui, Luis Manuel Otero and Maykel Castillo are missing, intercepted by State Security and taken to an unknown location,” wrote Michel Matos, of the San Isidro Movement, on his Facebook wall this morning. “The police infrmation numbers have no record or knowledge of these arrests. So, it is an enforced disappearance… there is no other name for it. My house is under surveillance, with warnings of arrest if I go out to file the complaint, and the homes of the rest of colleagues from the San Isidro Movement, are presumably under surveillance,” he concluded.
“I wake up besieged by the political police,” Alcántara had denounced this morning on his Facebook wall. “I will try to deliver my complaint for the police mistreatment suffered by art historian Anamely Ramos González, musician Maykel Osorbo and myself last Thursday. We will see what happens today.”
Alcantara and Maykel Castillo were detained by the police and imprisoned all night from Thursday to Friday. At the station, they were beaten by a dozen of them. Anamely Ramos, who approached the place to find out the whereabouts of both, was also attacked.
The visual artist had already been arrested on March 1 and released 13 days later, after an intense campaign that artists and intellectuals carried out for his release. At that time Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience, demanding his immediate release.
The artist faced two accusations: one for the crime of “damage” and the other for “outrage against the national symbols”; the latter was for using the Cuban flag in an artistic action. The first case was dismissed, and the oral hearing for the second alleged crime was scheduled for March 11, but was postponed until further notice “due to the country’s economic conditions.”
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.