Oct 13, 2009

Cuban dissident physician starts HUNGER STRIKE

Dr. Darsi Ferrer, a Cuban dissident physician has started a hunger strike today, in the Valle Grande prison, to protest against the procedural violations the government is engaging to keep him in jail, despite different regulations established by Cuba's own criminal law.

Dr. Darsi Ferrer became widely known outside Cuba, among other things, when he personally filmed, with an undercover camera, a reality of Cuba's hospitals for Cubans that is totally different from the astroturfed version of Michael Moore's "Sicko".

This is a courageous doctor that, despite being persecuted and stigmatized by Castro's repressive machine continues helping under served and disadvantaged individuals in Havana's poorest neighborhoods, independently resports the real situation of public health in Cuban and distributes all sort of donations to the Cuban elderly.
Here is my very free and loose translation of the letter sent by his wife, Yusnaimy:

Dear friends,

Darsi started a hungry strike today, October 13th, 2009, to protest the Cuban government arbitrary and unjust imprisonment against him, which violates Cuban’s own current laws. He is being accused of a crime of [receptación - having/receiving illegally obtained merchandise] that, due to its characteristics, is supposed to fall into the category of crimes to be processed in an expedite manner, in less than 20 days after being accused. The reasoning behind this is the low dangerousness of the crime and the low nominal value of the merchandise confiscated.

Three months ago the public attorney [fiscalía] requested that Darsi be put in jail as a preventive measure, without taking into account that [current Cuban] criminal law establishes that a preventive prison term only applies when it is a crime that has caused [public] alarm, is a crime with higher incidence in the given geographical area or there is a funded probable cause and/suspicion that the accused will try to evade justice. None of these conditions exist in the case of Darsi Ferrer. His defense lawyer proposed to change this preventive measure sin September 16th, 2009 and she has not received any answer so far.

However, the [current Cuban] criminal law clearly states that the attorney [fiscalía] has the obligation to answer to any proposal of change in the preventive measures within five (5) business days. The [current Cuban] criminal law establishes that the phase for investigation [instructional] where docket/case is prepared should be conducted in the least amount of time possible and establishes a maximum of 60 days to present the accusation in front of the tribunal.

There is an exception to extend these terms, but only for cases heavily justified. 78 days has passed now and Darsi’s docket/case is still in the instructional phase, even though there is nothing to investigate. It is unknown when the docket will be delivered to the tribunal to finally have a date for the trial, which is totally unjustifiable.

Besides, the way Darsi is being treated in jail is discriminatory, and this treatment got even worse after the newspaper El Nuevo Herald published a story where he denounced the “Inside stories of the Valle Grande Jail”. This [discrimination] is placing his personal security and integrity at risk inside the prison. The State’s security repression machine, instead of punishing the officials and the guards that have been denounced after committing serious crimes inside the jail, has consistently order the harassment of any other inmate that maintains any type of relationship or communication with Darsi, or even dare to approach him.

For that reason, the inmates Eliecer Fuentes, Alejandro Gainza, Delfín González and Tamayo Quiala, have been punished, and other are currently under investigation or being harassed by the prison guards. Is short, Darsi is being forced to cohabit in crowded conditions with common inmates, and those who even dare to have a conversation with him, are being punished.

When he was arrested, the police raided our house, supposedly, due to tip that we were buying construction materials with an illegal origin. During that fake search in our house, they confiscated two bags of cement and some metal sheets. They also broke the wall and tore down two windows in an interior hallway in the house.

What nobody understand is, why they didn’t showed any interest in the bag of cement, the gravel and the sand piles we have had in the house’s front porch, in plain view, for almost a year? Why did they tore down only two of the windows and left four other and the house’s main door, if they are all made with the same material?

The government’s goal is pretty clear: they want to keep Darsi in jail for political reasons, without showing any minimal sign of respect for the legislation they have put in place themselves.

I hold the authorities of the Cuban government responsible for anything that could happen to my husband, Dr. Darsi Ferrer Ramirez, and I ask the international community for help to demand the end to the injustices he is suffering.

Best regards, and God bless you all,
Yusnaimy Jorge Soca
Human Rights activitist
H/T to Babalú Blog & Uncommon Sense

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