14ymedio, Havana, October 25, 2019 — The three children and the wife of the opposition figure José Daniel Ferrer García were arrested in the centrally located Cespedes Park, in Santiago de Cuba, while they were protesting to demand his release more than three weeks after his arrest.
“They just arrested Nelva Ortega and three of José Daniel’s children, at a protest they were carrying out at Cespedes Park to demand the release of José Daniel,” the activist Katherine Mojena reported to 14ymedio minutes after the arrest.
At noon this Friday, four hours after the arrest, there is still no news on the whereabouts of José Daniel Ferrer’s family, as Carlos Amel Oliva, youth leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unpacu), reported to this newspaper.
At the protest were the children of the Unpacu leader, José Daniel Ferrer Cantillo, 17, Fátima Victoria Ferrer Cantillo, 14, and his wife Nelva Ortega Tamayo, who was carrying Daniel José, four months old.
Ortega and the two teenagers displayed signs demanding “Freedom for José Daniel Ferrer” and “No + Political Prisoners.” A little after beginning the protest, several officials from the National Revolutionary Police and agents from State Security arrived on the scene, took away their signs, and detained them.
Ferrer was arrested on October 1 along with four other activists, among them Fernando González, Roilán Zárraga, and José Pupo. For the first 72 hours, the opposition leader was held without being able to communicate and in an unknown location, according to his relatives and close friends.
Shortly after, his wife was able to visit him at the Provincial Unit of Criminal Investigation in Santiago de Cuba and found him “greatly weakened due to the dreadful conditions of Cuban prisons.”
Ferrer is prepared, his wife maintains, to accept any sanction imposed on him, including years in prison “as long as the truth is told.” Those close to the Unpacu leader have claimed that authorities are fabricating a case against him to keep him in prison.
The Unpacu leader, ex-prisoner from the Black Spring in 2003, was released from prison in 2011 and founded the organization that he directs, one of the primary targets of the Cuban government.
Translated by: Sheilagh Herrera
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