‘The Young Man with the Placard’ Will Go to a Lower Security Prison After Almost Three Years of Mistreatment

Yindra Elizastigui turned 50 on Sunday, as she received the news of the change in prison regimen for her son, Luis. (CubaNet)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, August 22, 2023–Luis Robles Elizastigui known as “the young man with the placard” and incarcerated since December 2020 in the Combinado del Este prison in Havana has achieved some relief from his prison conditions and will transfer to a minimum security regimen. As his mother, Yindra Elizastigui, on Monday told CubaNet, the young man will be transferred to La Lima camp in Guanabacoa.

Elizastigui, whose birthday was Sunday, happily stated in a video shared by the independent news outlet that she would be able to speak with her son on Tuesday; as of today he has a right to a phone call, but it was a fellow prisoner who assured her the change had been approved.

“After so many years, so much time struggling, I expect them to continue honoring the rights he had and that later, after this, they give him his conditional [release]”, she said.

Elizastigui also said her health had improved, after the cerebral vascular accident she suffered last May. The political prisoner’s mother also suffers from hypertension and diabetes, but is optimistic about the change in conditions for her son. “I continue with my rehabilitation. Thank God, I have improved quite a bit and, as my doctor says, to put a lot of effort and if things continue turning out well for my son Luis, I expect my health to improve as soon as possible.”

Thirty-year-old Luis Robles has also suffered from several health problems since he went to prison, which his mother has reported, including mistreatment and ophthalmological and gastric complications. In addition, he has been denied appropriate medical care.

The political prisoner’s brother, Lester, has not been spared; in January of this year he was arrested while building a vessel for “attempt to exit illegally” and, during his arrest he was harassed with questions related to his brother.

As Yindra Elizastigui reported, last week Lester was assaulted with a sharp weapon when he was returning from a shower. While returning home, two couples who were walking a few yards away began, according to her account, to insult the young man who “tried to defend himself.” At that time, his mother states, he was stabbed in the leg and when he was on the ground, he was stabbed in the back.

Yesterday, the woman said Lester must go to the doctor because he is experiencing complications from one of the wounds, but the progress is good. “We expect that we’ll be getting through this whole situation. Freedom for all political prisoners, freedom for Luis Robles,” stated Elizastigui.

Luis Robles was prosecuted, charged with the crimes of enemy propoganda and disobedience and sentenced to five years in prison. The young man, born in Guantánamo, was arrested after holding up a sign that read, “Freedom, no more repression, #FreeDenis”, alluding to the incarceration of Cuban rapper Denis Solís. With a degree in informatics and father to one son, he received support of passersby when the police forcibly detained him in Havana.

Translated by: Silvia Suárez


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