The Family of José Daniel Ferrer Declares It Has Not Heard from the Political Prisoner in Two Months

José Daniel Ferrer, leader of UNPACU, imprisoned in Santiago de Cuba, in an archived photo (Screen capture).

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 13 May 2023 The Cuban regime remains unyielding with the family of the political prisoner José Daniel Ferrer, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), who for the last two months has been denied visits from his wife Nelva Ismarays Ortega Tamayo. After a failed attempt to see him on May 11, Ortega called on the international community and people of goodwill to speak out against the violation of human rights on the island.

In an audio recording shared with the independent press, Ortega Tamayo explained that she travelled to the maximum security prison in Mar Verde on Thursday for a conjugal visit. While in the waiting room, however, she was informed by the Head of Internal Security that she would not be allowed inside.

Ferrer’s wife said that no family member has had direct contact with him since March 14. Since then, the political leader has been incommunicado under an “enforced disappearance” and deprived of the right to a legal defense. “The last time his children Fátima Victoria and our little one Daniel José, only three years old, were able to talk to their father was last March 7, a day after the dictatorship gave him the right to a phone call for the last time,” she stated.

Ferrer is one of more than 1,000 political prisoners that the Cuban regime is holding in its prisons since the massive protests on July 11, 2021, in addition to detainees from demonstrations in recent months. During these almost two years, his family has reported on various occasions that the prisoner has been the victim of torture, beatings and threats.

The opposition leader has been in the same dungeon “isolated and confined since August 14, 2021,” his wife added, in order to break his fighting spirit. “He is probably seminude, under the same deplorable, inhumane, cruel and degading conditions, subject to mistreatment and torture, both physical and psychological,” she indicated in her report.

Ortega recalled that Ferrer also does not have access to his medication, another violation of his basic rights. This causes “uncertainty and pain for the whole family,” added his wife, who affirmed they will continue to demand peacefully from the dictators Miguel Díaz-Canel and Raúl Castro “signs of life from José Daniel. You are ultimately responsible for his physical and psychological well-being,” she said.

Ortega indicated that the government expects Ferrer accept exile from Cuba, in spite of “knowing very well that he would rather die than abandon his homeland.”

Translated by Cristina Saavedra


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