EFE (via 14ymedio), Geneva, 11 July 2022 — On Monday, the Cuban biologist Ariel Ruiz Urquiola, an environmental and LGTBI activist, completed eight days on a hunger strike in front of the headquarters of the UN Office for Human Rights in Geneva, which he is demanding intervene to stop the harassment suffered by his family in Cuba.
“The only thing left for me is to ask the high commissioner (Michelle Bachelet) to adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has been violated against my sister [Omara Ruiz Urquiola] and me through medical torture and crimes against humanity,” the Cuban activist, resident in Switzerland since 2019, told EFE.
Ruiz Urquiola accuses the Cuban regime of having expelled him and his sister from the University of Havana for their political activism, of trying to confiscate the land they work, after not being able to dedicate themselves to teaching, and now of preventing his sister from returning to Cuba after traveling to the US to treat breast cancer.
In addition, the activist affirms that Cuban authorities inoculated him with the HIV virus in 2019, when he was on another hunger strike, and that they have given his sister placebo treatments on several occasions instead of the medicines she needs against her cancer.
“Now that my sister is prohibited from entering Cuba, my mother is left alone and they are going for her: they want to confiscate our farm,” said Ruiz Urquiola, who has been sleeping outdoors in a Geneva square since July 4, and assured that it will remain there “as long as the body lasts.”
“The Geneva medical services and the police have been very concerned about my health, but my choice is to continue,” he said, and blamed the UN Office for the medical consequences that the current strike, the fifth it has carried out in almost 20 years of activism.
The Cuban expert added that just one person in charge from the office headed by Bachelet has been interested in his health these days, for which he considered “disastrous” the response of an institution before which he had already done a shorter strike hunger in 2020.
Translated by Andrea Libre
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