14ymedio, Havana, 15 September 2022 — Physics instructor Pedro Albert Sánchez, in prison since November 3rd, 2021, is on a hunger strike in Valle Grande prison. In July, the Attorney General sought a five-year prison sentence for the academic, who last year announced a march “for freedom of thought, of expression, and to peacefully demonstrate,” but his trial has not yet taken place.
Sánchez refused the food his family took him during their visit on September 13. “I have no way of expressing the frustration and powerlessness I feel right now,” stated Pedro Antonio Albert, the instructor’s son who lives abroad, in a video he posted on Facebook last Wednesday.
“My father’s situation is truly worrisome and I fear for his life,” wrote Pedro Antonio on social media, to accompany his statement. “A physics and mathematics instructor who taught thousands of students in Havana and Pinar del Río,” is how Pedro Antonio Albert describes his father; he added that the academic suffers from cancer and ulcerative colitis.
“His only crime has been freely expressing what he thinks,” stated Pedro Antonio. “My dad is going to die, he has been on a hunger strike for two days. My brother and I are worried because we know that when our father makes a decision no one can intervene and make him change his mind.”
“I don’t want the worst to happen, but I know that it can,” said the young man.
Heir to a long tradition of marchers, among them emblematic personalities such as Andarín Carvajal, a Cuban athlete who participated in the marathon at the Saint Louis Olympics in 1904, the instructor sought, through his steps, to revive citizen freedom on the Island.
On that November day, despite the threats he had received, he revived his initiative, “The motives are the same as those of previous marches, but more intense, given that the situation in the country is the same, albeit more dangerous.”
Sánchez refuses to speak with anyone to avoid reprisals against his family, warns his son. “He doesn’t want that State Security agent, the one who calls himself Abel, to visit my brother.” The young man bemoans that his father has been “locked up without charges, without a trial. He tried hard to use the established pathways to say what he wanted to express and no one wanted to listen.”
“Let him go, because my father is not a delinquent. He is a professional, with dignity, which is what you all lack,” the young man stated while addressing agents of the Cuban political police. “That man has more dignity than all of you.”
Translated by: Silvia Suárez
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