14ymedio/EFE, Havana, 13 March 2020 — Amnesty International has declared artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara a “prisoner of conscience.” “It is absolutely shameful that the Cuban administration continues to repress any voice that is not aligned with the official position,” the organization denounced this Friday in a statement.
Otero Alcántara is “imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising his freedom of expression, and must be released immediately,” says the text, which lists the artist as “key leader of the opposition movement to Decree 349.”
“We urge the Cuban government to release him immediately and unconditionally,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Amnesty International’s director for the Americas.
“Cuba is the only country in the Americas that prohibits visits from Amnesty International,” notes the text. The organization calls on all LGBTI artists, journalists and activists to demand that the authorities release Otero Alcántara immediately and unconditionally.
The artist was arrested on March 1 and this Wednesday he was going to be put on trial, however, the authorities advised the family that the oral hearing had been postponed without saying the new date when it will be held.
Otero Alcántara is facing a sentence of between two and five years in prison for the alleged crimes of insult against the national symbols and damage to property. His case has unleashed a campaign of national and international support and his release has even been requested by artists close to the ruling party, such as Silvio Rodríguez and Alexis Leyva, Kcho.
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