14ymedio, Havana, 20 September 2022–Physics instructor Pedro Albert Sánchez was transferred from Valle Grande prison to a hospital, after a week on a hunger strike, according to information provided to 14ymedio by opponent Manuel Cuesta Morúa. Although it is unknown to which hospital he was taken, another prisoner in that jail confirmed that the academic’s health had deteriorated greatly in the last few days.
Albert Sánchez has been imprisoned since November 3, 2021 and, last July, the Attorney General sought a five year prison term but his trial has not yet taken place. The instructor was arrested after announcing a march “for freedom of thought, of expression and peaceful demonstration.”
During the most recent family visit Sánchez received in prison, on September 13th, he refused to receive the food they took him. “I have no way of expressing the frustration and powerlessness I feel right now,” the instructor’s son, Pedro Antonio Albert who lives abroad, stated in a video he shared on Facebook at that time.
“My father’s situation is truly worrisome and I fear for his life,” wrote Pedro Antonio on social media, to accompany his statement. “A physics and mathematics instructor who has taught thousands of students in Havana and Pinar del Río,” that is how the young man described his father and added that the academic is suffering from cancer and ulcerative colitis.
“His only crime has been freely expressing what he thinks,” stated Pedro Antonio. “My dad is going to die, he has been on a hunger strike for two days. My brother and I are worried because we know that when our father makes a decision no one can intervene and make him change his mind.”
“I don’t want the worst to happen, but I know that it can,” said the young man. and on Tuesday the family’s greatest fears are becoming reality with Albert Sánchez’s transfer to the hospital due to his deteriorating physical condition.
The instructor, heir to a long tradition of marchers, among them emblematic personalities such as Andarín Carvajal, a Cuban athlete who participated in the marathon at the Saint Louis Olympics in 1904, sought to revive citizen freedom on the Island with his initiative of walking through part of Havana.
However, just the announcement of that walk in solidarity with the Civic March of November 15, 2021 was enough to arrest and later transfer him to Valle Grande prison.
“Let him go, because my father is not a criminal. He is a professional, with dignity, which is what you all lack,” the young man stated while addressing agents of the Cuban political police. “That man has more dignity than all of you.”
Translated by: Silvia Suárez
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