The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Rules in Favor of Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara / Cubalex

The IACHR and its Special Rapporteurs call on the Cuban State to cease harassment against artists, journalists, and activists in Cuba.

Cubalex, 14 May 2021 — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) and its Special Rapporteurs for Freedom of Expression (RELE) and for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (REDESCA) expressed concern about the escalation of repression against journalists, artists and human rights defenders in Cuba, in particular, members of the San Isidro Movement (MSI), beneficiaries of Precautionary Measures, whom they consider to be in a serious and urgent situation of risk of irreparable damage to their rights in Cuba.

Regarding the situation of Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, the IACHR recognizes hunger strikes as a form of social and peaceful protest, and emphasizes the Cuban State’s obligation to guarantee freedom of expression, the autonomy of individuals, and their right to health and well-being, as well as ensuring access to healthcare, in a consensual manner, without threats, pressure or coercion, to those who choose this form of protest.

Faced with the uncertainty and lack of transparency in Otero Alcántara’s case, they call on the international community to follow his case with particular attention. The regional body also referred to increased State control over demonstrations involving the participation of dissidents, who are detained and violently repressed, and called on the State to:

Recognize and protect the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, without discrimination for reasons of political opinion.

Cease acts of persecution against those who exercise the right to free of expression.

Effectively protect the right of all artists, without discrimination, to participate in cultural life and benefit from the moral and material interests in their works.

Read the complete communique here (May 13, 2021)

Translated by Tomás A.