14ymedio, Havana, 29 May 2023 – – Activist Yasmany González Valdés was transferred this Friday to the Combinado del Este prison, in Havana, after more than a month in Villa Marista, headquarters of State Security, as confirmed to 14ymedio by his wife, Ilsa Ramos.
Ramos, who will be able to visit her husband next Wednesday, tells this newspaper that she has not yet been informed of the date on which the trial will be held. González is being accused of the alleged crime of “propaganda against government bodies.”
During his stay at Villa Marista, the activist felt “like a caged lion” in “an unventilated cell,” Ramos denounced in a post on his Facebook account. “I couldn’t hold back my tears when I saw his deteriorated physical condition, but even more so his mental state. He is super upset, very nervous.”
The activist, also known as Libre Libre, was arrested on April 20 after a “violent search” at his house in Centro Habana in which about 15 political police officers participated. They confiscated a pair of overalls, a brush and his mobile phone, as part of the investigation into the graffiti against the Cuban regime that appeared in several central points of the capital.
Initially, the Observatory of Cultural Rights (ODC) warned about the detention of Libre Libre and recalled that the activist had been summoned by the police at the beginning of April at the Zanja station, in the Cuban capital, where he was linked to the group that calls itself El Nuevo Directorio (END). According to González’s testimony, on that occasion they did graphological tests and also tried to arrest him for a non-payment of fines that had already been paid.
The first painting signed by END with the slogan “No to the PCC” appeared on the walls of the Faculty of Physics of the University of Havana. The second was in Aguirre Park, and a third was at the entrance of the university stadium, on Ronda Street. But it was the fourth and most recent poster that most annoyed State Security, when it appeared on the morning of April 20 at number 7 Humboldt Street, in Centro Habana.
The location of this last sign coincides with the place where four young people belonging to the Revolutionary Directory were murdered in 1957, during the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. The poster, made on the same day as the anniversary of that repressive action, generated a strong police operation to cover the letters with paint, in addition to an “act of apology.”
Yasmany González denounced the harassment he has suffered from State Security. In 2022, after four days of detention in Villa Marista, the activist, who works as a self-employed bricklayer, said he would stop posting on social networks. He had previously been fined for denouncing human rights violations and demanding the release of the detainees in the protests of July 11, 2021.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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