Published Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Cuban writer and blogger Angel Santiesteban-Prats disappeared from the jail at San Miguel del Padron on July 21, 2014. Authorities at first said that he had escaped; nevertheless, ten days later his daughter managed to speak with him briefly at a police precinct. His whereabouts are still unknown.
After having denounced the disappearance of Angel Santiesteban-Prats from the jail where he had been since April 2013, his relatives are worried about the accusation of attempted escape.
They have not yet been able to learn the Cuban writer and blogger’s version, but his family suspects that this new complaint is unfounded and its only purpose would be to increase his sentence to captivity.
The only person who has been able to see Angel Santiesteban-Prats since his disappearance has been his daughter. The interview only lasted ten minutes and was in the presence of a police agent; during this time the father, therefore, had no opportunity to speak freely. Since the said encounter occurred, the authorities have reported nothing about the writer’s situation, and rumors grow.
“Reporters Without Borders exhorts the Cuban authorities to explain clearly the current situation of Angel Santiesteban-Prats,” said Camille Soulier, head of the Americas’ Office of said organization. “The risk increases for the blogger each day that passes without news of him. We demand his immediate liberation and the withdrawal of all and each of the accusations brought against him. The repressive methods of the Cuba regime increasingly resemble those days of the ’Black Spring.’”
It has been more than a year since the author of the blog “The Children Nobody Wanted” found himself behind bars by virtue of his ostensibly critical position towards the Cuban government. In December 2012 after an expedited trial he was found guilty of “home violation and assault” and was sentenced to five years in prison. In April 2013 he was transferred to the prison center of San Miguel del Padron where he suffered torture and mistreatment.
His recent disappearance conincides with an interview given by his son last July 15 on Television Marti, a news channel with headquarters in Miami. In that interview, he affirmed that he had been forced to corroborate the false accusations against his father. Also, according to Eduardo Angel Santiesteban, the “hero of the report” has never assaulted his ex-wife, and the judgement is a mere sham.
Cuba is in place number 170 among 180 countries in the 2014 edition of the World Classification of World Press Freedom by Reporters Without Borders, occupying the last place among countries of the American hemisphere.
Published by Reporters Without Borders
Click the link to sign the petition for Amnesty International to declare Cuban dissident Angel Santiesteban a prisoner of conscience.
Translated by mlk.
6 August 2014