14ymedio, Havana, November 7, 2019 — This Thursday José Daniel Ferrer’s wife visited the opposition leader in the Aguadores prison, in Santiago de Cuba, 38 days after he was detained. Nelva Ortega was accompanied by three of Ferrer’s children, according to a statement from the Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unpacu).
Ferrer’s meeting with his family occurred in an area of the prison in the presence of an official and lasted barely five minutes, a time in which the opposition figure narrated “very quickly” everything he has experienced in prison during the last month, according to the document that Unpacu passed on to 14ymedio’s editorial team.
The visit ended when Ferrer “ripped off the prison uniform that they had put on him by force, a moment in which his family could see the marks of torture all over his body,” specifies the text.
His wife affirms that Ferrer is “stooped” and that he has lost “body weight.” She also explains that upon seeing his family members “he could barely hug them” because of his deteriorated health.
“He has the look of a very sick old man,” emphasizes the report from Unpacu. Suspected bruises on the thoracic and abdominal areas, on the upper and lower extremities, and the back complete the portrait that the family reports.
Ferrer said that he had been on a hunger strike for 25 days, that he began the protest on October 6 at the Provincial Criminal Unit of Santiago de Cuba in response to the “fetid water” and “food in a bad state” that he had received.
On October 9 the ex-political prisoner of the Black Spring was transferred to the Aguadores prison and brought to a punishment cell in which he affirms he suffered reprisals and threats.
“They beat him periodically, they keep him half-naked in a damp and cold cell, they chain up his hands and feet, they drag him and cause burns from the friction, daily he is insulted and verbally mistreated, and they constantly repeat to him that he will not get out of there alive,” warns the document disseminated by his organization.
Ferrer was arrested on October 1 and his family has only been able to visit him once. Amnesty International sent a letter to King Felipe VI asking that, when he travels to Cuba next week, in his bilateral meetings with authorities he take an interest in the opposition figure.
Translated by: Sheilagh Herrera
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