14ymedio, Havana, 22 May 2021 — Six evangelical pastors have addressed an open letter to the Cuban State to request the freedom of those detained in Obispo Street in Havana on April 30, after a demonstration in favor of the artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, then on a hunger strike in his home.
In their letter, made public this Friday on their social networks, the religious figures claim that the individual “can express their freedom of expression in any space,” and mention all those who today, three weeks later, are still deprived of liberty: Esteban Rodríguez , Luis Ángel Cuba Alfonso, Mary Karla Ares, Yuisán Cancio Vera and Inti Soto Romero.
“We demand the Cuban State the immediately release of the Obispo Street detainees without legal consequences for them or their relatives,” demand the signatories, coming from the Methodist Church, the Apostolic Movement and other religious currents, while interceding “for the life of other prisoners or detainees being held for political reasons on the Island.” The letter is forceful: “A country cannot remain in peace without consensus, where the opinions of some are law and those of others a crime.”
Amnesty International (AI) also criticized last week the repression and human rights violations by the Cuban government, especially mentioning the case of the detainees in Obispo. At the beginning of May, the Cuban Justice rejected the habeas corpus presented in favor of these detainees.
“Mary Karla and other journalists, artists and defenders of #DDHH [Human Rights] are still in prison or under strict surveillance in their homes in #Cuba, just for the fact of protesting and defending rights,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, the regional director of AI for Latin America. “We demand her release and an end to the repression of the Díaz-Canel government,” she added.
According to reports from the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH), April was the most repressive month so far this year: 1,018 actions were registered against human rights activists and independent journalists, of which 206 were arbitrary detentions, including 13 which included the serious use of violence.
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