14ymedio, Havana, 13 August 2018 – Activist Ebert Hidalgo Cruz has been released without any charges, according to a video released Sunday by the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) shortly after the dissident was released from prison. Hidalgo was imprisoned on August 3 together with the leader of the organization, José Daniel Ferrer, who is still in prison accused of the attempted murder of a State Security agent.
“They were forcing me to say that José Daniel was guilty, that he had run over the officer with the car,” the activist explained before the camera. He says that he was interrogated four times and that he was threatened by the agents with keeping him prisoner. “I told them not to pressure me anymore, that I was not going to say anything else,” he said about the agents’ insistence that he confirm that José Daniel’s aggression against the agent was deliberate.
Hidalgo and Ferrer were arrested after an incident involving the Interior Ministry official, Dainier Suárez Pagán, who was allegedly run over by Ferrer while driving without a driver’s license.
Agent Suárez Pagán is known by the dissidents of Palmarito de Cauto, in the province of Santiago de Cuba, for being violent and attacking the activists. According to the judicial version, Ferrer intended to run over the agent while he was crossing the street, a statement that was denied by the two dissidents shortly before they were arrested.
In the video, Hidalgo explained that he spent six days in the Penal Instruction and Criminal Operations Unit, in the Versalles district (Santiago de Cuba), unable to change clothes and in a cell in terrible conditions, which according to the activist, had hardly any light but had plenty of mosquitoes, rats and cockroaches. He received only a brief visit from his daughter during his prison stay.
Before Hidalgo was released from Micro 9, as the prison where he was held is also known, he was warned that he could not talk at all about the case with relatives.
Translated by Wilfredo Díaz Echevarria
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