SOMOS+, Adalberto R. Mes Duarte, LLB, 7 November 2018
Now you will see what legality really is … And these were the exact words of the Head of the Municipal Unit of the National Revolutionary Police in the City of Cienfuegos, Captain (I don’t even know his name), when he showed up in my house, at exactly 06:55 hours in the morning, accompanied by more than twelve policemen, three patrol cars, a Jeep and two motorcycles, handcuffing me and indicating, without a probable cause, my arrest and driving me heavily escorted, in front of my family and neighbors, like an extremely aggressive and dangerous criminal.
WHAT VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE CONCEPT OF LEGALITY WERE COMMITTED?
I was arrested (again, without previous explanations) at 06:55 hours on October 26, 2018, at my front door, in the presence of my family, by a dozen uniformed men and several vehicles of the above-mentioned institution. However, due to strange, and so far, unknown reasons, my detention appears registered on that same day, but at 09:50, that is THREE HOURS AFTER the scandalous and public police operation.
In this case, I hope that nobody comes up with the stupid idea of altering, or forging the document that I signed the first day of my arrest, and to which I had access on the seventh day of my confinement through the Chief Prosecutor of Criminal Procedures of the Provincial Prosecutor of Cienfuegos, who, above all, gives the impression of being a serious person.
For about an hour and a half, of the THREE DARK HOURS in which I remained NOT OFFICIALLY DETAINED but indeed, “LEGALLY DISAPPEARED” I endured PHYSICAL TORTURE, as some of my captors tightened the cuffs so strongly, that the metal penetrated in my skin and created injuries that left scars that I still have today.
If you ask yourselves: Why this bad blood? Well, the policemen who were in the place where I was held captive, approached me from behind and looked forward to a complaint or a groan of pain, which of course, would never happen.
Then, a policewoman came in and ordered them to take off the cuffs from me, and to take me out of there. All this was in the presence of the Police officer in the charge who remained unaffected, as if nothing illegal was happening around him. I showed him my hands totally swollen, bruised and furrowed by the metal and blackened as well, and told him: this is a reflection of what you commit every day to the defenseless citizens! … In response I only received silence, total silence.
This very same officer did not allow me to use my eyeglasses to read the statements that irrationally and incoherently made up around what was already seen as an absurd manipulation of the Judicial System by the Ministry of the Interior. According to this same officer, I knew that I stood accused of being “alleged perpetrator of crimes of Slander and Disobedience” (I will talk about this in the second part of this document)
The Police officer in charge himself,a young man seriously affected by his poor grammar and spelling knowledge of the beautiful Spanish language, refused at all times to grant me the right to phone my relatives so they would know in which police station I was.
I was denied the right to have access to the Experts of the provincial Department of Legal Medicine so that, prior to the body examination, they could certify the physical injuries that I presented in my hands.
From the moment the officer in charge made my detention official and made me sign an Arrest Certificate, without clearly stating the crime or crimes for which they kept me under arrest, besides the fact that I was detained after 09:50 hours, therefore leaving almost three hours in which I do not physically exist as detained anywhere, I declared myself on a HUNGER STRIKE until my rights are restored and I strictly demand the presence of a Prosecutor to whom I could inform on all the physical and mental mistreatment that I was enduring so far.
At approximately 10:20 hours on October 26, 2018, I was transferred from the Municipal Station to the Station of Region No. 1 for Criminal Prosecution, where I remained for twenty-four (24) hours. And according to Lieutenant Colonel Franklin, the reason why I was there is because one of my brothers was under custody in the Municipal Station and we could not “be together”; furthermore, I had to give up my Hunger Strike so that I could be granted all the rights I was claiming.
In the afternoon of October 27, the Police officer in charge appears (I do not know his name because he did not say it) and notifies me that there is a court order for “Preventive Custody” imposed against me by the Municipal Prosecutor, Aimara Almeida, and that later in the afternoon I would be transferred to the Provincial Unit of Criminal Procedure, where the perpetrators of the most serious crimes committed in the jurisdictional area of the province remain detained. I want to make clear that this is the most rigorous military institution of imprisonment and prosecution in Cienfuegos, even higher than the Provincial Prison in terms of the regimen.
In this military unit, I was confined to Cell No. 12, alone, isolated, incommunicado and identified as inmate No. 494. A completely sealed place, with artificial (electric) light twenty-four hours a day, two steps and a half wide by three steps long, where it is not allowed to speak or shout under penalty of punishment.
Here the damage or torture is psychological. Although there were never complaints of my behavior, from the moment I entered that place, I declared my political position against the government, as well as my only demand: “to restore my freedom and my rights.”
I would be lying, if I said that I was physically or verbally abused there. The health and security staff kept an eye on my condition, and constantly asked me if I wanted to eat any kind of food, or if I wanted to drink water, something that I emphatically refused. Many of them expressed their knowledge that my stay there was totally unjustified, but that they were only following their superiors’ orders.
Once my demands were known, the Head of the Criminal Prosecution Unit, informed me in an interview that he can only agree to bring me a Legal Physician to certify the bodily injuries that I presented, but he would keep the Certificate that the expert would issue, meaning that he was not going to deliver it to me, and that there was no other guarantee he could offer me since: “I WOULD NOT HAVE ANY RIGHTS FOR AS LONG AS I AM ON A HUNGER STRIKE, FURTHERMORE, IF SOMETHING HAPPENED TO ME, I WOULD BE THE ONLY ONE RESPONSIBLE; THEREFORE, I WAS TO REMAIN IN SOLIDARITY CONFINEMENT AND WITHOUT RIGHTS FOR AS LONG AS I KEEP MYSELF IN VOLUNTARY INANITION, WHICH WHAT THEY CALLED THE POSITION I HAD ASSUMED.”
On October 31, I cannot specify what time it was, they took me to one of the interrogation rooms, and finally: “What I assumed from the first day appeared, that was the engine that was moving all the threads for my detention, permanence and status there.”
The Department of State Security showed up in the person of one who called himself First Lieutenant Daryl, a decent individual, very temperate and interested in my demand, but with the double intention clearly visible, to tell me that I could be convinced that he was there on behalf of the prosecutor that I was demanding so insistently. That the complaints for which I was being prosecuted were already in court, and that he had the ability to have access to them and destroy them, as well as the power to solve the situation of my brother and the rest of my relatives.
After about an hour or more, of fruitless discussion, the conversation ended up in these two points, by the Department of State Security:
a) I would immediately suspend the Hunger Strike and commit myself that once released, I would not make any new complaints against the National Police;
b) The Department of State Security promised to immediately release my relatives and impose administrative fines (they did not define amounts).
On November 1, 2018, in the afternoon, I was taken to one of the interrogation rooms where the Chief Prosecutor of Criminal Proceedings of the Province of Cienfuegos awaited. He confirmed to me that my brother had only been detained for 48 hours, and the rest of my relatives had not been arrested. My IMMEDIATE FREEDOM was decided, and this official is the one who assured me that my official detention had started at 09:50 hours on October 26, and not from 06:55 when it actually happened.
To get an idea: I am 1.85 m (6’ 1″) tall. At the time of my arrest, I was in perfect physical and mental shape. I entered the police criminal detention and prosecution system, with 115.0 kilograms (253 pounds) in weight. I only suffer from high blood pressure (controlled), Bronchial Asthma and Chronic Allergy. When my IMMEDIATE FREEDOM was decreed, after only SEVEN DAYS, according to the daily weighing and the vital parameters measured by the Ministry of the Interior (MININT, for its acronym in english) Medical Service experts, I barely reached 104.0 kilograms (229 pounds).
I left that place suffering from a strong flu, provoked by the conditions of permanent humidity inside the cell in which I was held, which is why I am now under antibiotics treatment. I am suffering from sleep disturbances, as well as severe abdominal pain, and persistent dizziness. From these, I am still recovering today.
To be continued…
End of Part I
Translated by: Francy Perez Perdomo