14ymedio, Havana 10 September 2021 — Cuban State Security circulated a video this Friday in which the regime opponent José Daniel Ferrer, arrested on July 11 (11J), appears, sending a few words to his family from prison.
“A hug for my wife, for my children, my brothers, my mother, for the whole family,” says the activist in the brief recording that was published on the Facebook page of Guerrero Cubano, an anonymous spokesman for the regime.
“I have been in the Mar Verde prison since August 12. So far I have not had any type of situation, no problem of violence or mistreatment,” he adds and concludes: “Here we are, firm and serene. Hug.”
After disseminating the material, Ana Belkis Ferrer García, the dissident’s sister, denounced on Twitter that the “dictatorship of Raúl Castro and Miguel Díaz-Canel” published an edited and undated video where Ferrer, the leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unpacu), appears. after two months “kidnapped and disappeared.” She also demanded on behalf of the family a proof of life and immediate and unconditional freedom for Ferrer. “Where do you intend to go?” she questioned.
A month after being arrested after the 11J protests, the Provincial Court of Santiago de Cuba determined that the opponent must serve the sentence of four years in prison that had been imposed in February 2020 for “injuries and deprivation of liberty” against from a third party.
Until that Sunday, the Unpacu leader enjoyed a subsidiary sanction that kept him free, although he was besieged by the political police. His wife, Nelva Ortega Tamayo, who had demanded information about Ferrer’s whereabouts, was informed of the new disposition.
At the end of August, his family reported that they had received a letter signed by Ferrer to which they gave “some credit”, although according to his sister, they could not “guarantee that it was really in his own handwriting.”
The activist also said that the letter denounced that Ferrer was confined in an isolation cell “half naked, in cruel, inhuman and degrading conditions,” and that on two occasions they put him in “the uniform of a common prisoner by force,” as he was denied his clothes. Regarding his health, he said that he had “serious problems with heartburn and constant stomach pain.”
Ferrer has been subjected to permanent repression for a long time. Last April, he was detained for eight hours for helping an activist get to the Unpacu headquarters despite an attempt by the Police to stop him.
The activist has been recognized by the Victims of Communism Foundation with the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom. Since July 11, he is one of the 10 cases of forced disappearance reported by the organization that is dedicated to investigating the whereabouts of the detainees.
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.