14ymedio, Havana, 7 August 2018 — The leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), Jose Daniel Ferrer, completed 72 hours in detention Monday and his case “has passed to the prosecutor,” as the opposition organization’s coordinator, Carlos Amel Oliva, reported to this daily.
They accuse Ferrer of attacking an official from the Ministry of the Interior, according to what Captain Roberto said to his family members. At this time he is under arrest in Unit One of the Santiago de Cuba National Revolutionary Police (PNR). Authorities keep the activist incommunicado, and he has not even been able to receive visits from his relatives.
“Yesterday at ten at night he completed the first 72 hours of arrest. The case has already passed to the prosecutor and now it is necessary to wait another 72 hours in order to get an answer about what is going to happen with him,” said Olive in a telephone conversation with this paper.
Also arrested with Ferrer was activist Ebert Hidalgo Cruz, who is in the Operations Unit of the PNR (People’s Revolutionary Police). Hidalgo Cruz is also incommunicado.
According to the criminal procedure law, the prosecutor could drop the arrest without consequence, impose a cautionary measure without detention, or revoke or modify the measure ordered by the police. The prosecutor also may propose the imposition of a provisional prison sentence.
According to Oliva, coordinator of the organization founded by Jose Daniel Ferrer, Captain Roberto told the family members that there is an open “file” against the UNPACU leader. In the case of Hidalgo Cruz, he is accused of permitting Ferrer to drive a car without a license.
Ferrer was arrested last Friday night after being implicated in a traffic accident in Palmarito de Cauto, where he supposedly injured the State Security agent, Daniel Suarez Pagan.
The dissident was in the town for family reasons and also planned to visit some of the activists who live in the area. Oliva says that during the journey, the plainclothes agent stepped in front of the Mosovich car driven by Ferrer, indicating for him to stop. Ferrer does not have a driver’s license or a learner’s permit.
After an abrupt maneuver to stop the car, the agent fell to the ground and after getting up went to a medical unit in order to seek a certificate of injury. Several hours later the two activists were arrested.
Some UNPACU activists contacted by 14ymedio say that, “Pagan is not hurt and is working as usual in the town of Palmarito de Cauto.”
Maidolis Oribe, area resident, says that “State Security and the Police with their Criminal Unit specialists have reconstructed the events four times and have pressured people to testify against Ferrer.”
“They want the people to say that Jose Daniel ran over him,” says Oribe, who has witnessed the reconstruction of events by the experts.
“Pagan is the one who throws himself to the ground and plays ’murumacas’” says the woman, who questions the blows he received “if he is able to make those movements.”
Jose Daniel Ferrer is a former political prisoner from the black spring of 2003 who benefitted from an extra-penal license in 2011 after a negotiation between the government, the Catholic church and the Spanish presidency. The extra-penal license, which allows the prisoner out of the penitentiary, can be revoked at the will of authorities.
Translated by Mary Lou Keel.
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