Official statement on the irregular situation of Angel Santiesteban-Prats

Angel’s family wants to inform the international community where we stand as of tonight April 12, 2013.

Last week, the regime tried to hide Angel in the Salvador Allende military hospital with the excuse of a dermatological treatment he is receiving, to avoid his having access to talk to the Commission of National and International Journalists accredited to visit La Lima Prison on Tuesday last, April 9. Given the outright refusal of Angel to be taken to the hospital, he was informed that he would be given a pass for a few hours to go to his house. He was even advised in a phone call that they would call indicating what time they should pick him up on Monday.

That call never took place. And after many inquiries it was reported to his friends that he had been taken by force and handcuffed to an unknown destination. It also emerged that Angel tried to resist the transfer — illegal of course — and they would have undertaken in any event on Sunday night.

The family waited for the phone call that any prisoner is entitled to but that call never came. Attorney Amelia Rodriguez Cala — after visiting La Lima — was informed that Angel had been transferred to the Prison 15-80, The Pitirre, in San Miguel del Padrón, a severe regime facility. She had made all the relevant official arrangements to visit her client and it was agreed she would visit this morning, Thursday, April 11, at 11 am.

The attorney Rodriguez Cala appeared at Prison 15-80 at the set time but was denied the visit. Some officers told that Angel is housed in solitary confinement and is on hunger strike. It is the first time that the lawyer was refused the right to visit a defendant.

None of this has been confirmed because to the unlawful transfer of Angel we must add a new violation of his rights: not allowing his lawyer to visit.

At this time and without knowing anything for sure about Angel, his family, his lawyer and all his friends are extremely concerned. We fear for his safety. We all know that when a prisoner is beaten savagely they will not show him publicly until they can erase the traces of the crime. We fear that this is the case. And to our uncertainty is added the fact of not having the certain knowledge that he is confined in Prison 15-80 and that it could be just one more lie of the regime.

From here, from his blog, this space of freedom that has led to the situation he now finds himself in, wrongly convicted after a rigged trial based on the false allegations made against Angel by the mother of his son — Kenya Rodriguez — his family and friends demand from Raul Castro Ruz that he to enforce all legal guarantees established by law and that Angel be granted the visit of rigor required by law that his lawyer can determine where he is and what is the state of his health.

From here on out we hold the government of Raul Castro Ruz absolutely responsible for what might happen to Angel and we demand his immediate appearance in perfect physical health.

International public opinion through the media and human rights organizations is aware of what they are doing to Ángel Santiesteban-Prats. The mantle of impunity is increasingly slim. And we will not stop until it breaks completely and there is justice for all Cubans.

We also demand that the commission of journalists who are visiting Cuban prisons fulfill their sacred duty to tell the truth and do not lend themselves to being crass puppets in the Castro theater. The life and safety of thousands of prisoners across the island depend on their compliance with the moral imperative and the ethical duty of the journalist. Therefore, we also hold them responsible for what may happen to Angel and all Cuban prisoners, whether political or common.

At dawn on April 12, we are waiting to find Ángel Santiesteban-Prats in perfect health.

Signed: The editor of the blog: The Children Nobody Wanted

12 April 2013