In the early hours of Sunday, 12 January, at 6:30 AM, Angel Santiesteban-Prats was the victim of a surprise search by Officer Joaquin, deputy chief of prisons in Havana province. We do not know what they were looking for, but clearly they weren’t satisfied with what they found although they took everything: the Declaration of Human Rights — hopefully they took the trouble to read it — statutes of Amnesty International, an Encuentro magazine, a Cuban Hispanic magazine and a story.
The harassment of Angel is constant and constantly growing. The regime continues violating his rights and those of all the prisoners — political and common — under the complacent gaze of the concert of free nations of the world, and now shamelessly before the United Nations Human Rights Council, which has rewarded it for “safeguarding” the human rights of the entire world.
Angel is still imprisoned for crimes he didn’t commit and that they have never been able to prove precisely because he did not commit them. The judicial farce that the political police mounted should have been denounced by the same Human Rights Council that now “honors” the regime.
On 28 February Angel will have been unjustly imprisoned for a year, without the Prosecutor having responded to the “Motion for Review” presented by his attorney, Amelia Rodriguez Cala on 4 July last year.
We already denounced last 18 December that Angel had begun to be harassed and provoked by his jailers, in what we consider a clear strategy to push him to commit some disciplinary infraction that would justify a new transfer to a severe-regime prison or that would allow his accusers to demonstrate his supposed violent character in the review of the trial which, if the Cuban legal system worked, they are obliged to hold.
Nor has Angel’s right to a pass every sixty days been respected; he and his companions were deprived of this right at the end of November. But on 3 January, his nineteen companions in the prison left for their six-day pass, which was compensation for the pass they’d taken from them. Angel continues not to receive this benefit and only receives harassment and provocations.
Dictator Raul Castro continues to demonstrate to the world how in the Island Prison you violate all the rights and freedoms with his archaic but deadly mortal reign of terror, who also continues his efforts to bringing it to the rest of the continent with the complicity of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
You and the whole army of minions at your service are absolutely responsible for the life and safety of Angel Santiesteban-Prats. And remember that while the world is watching in horror as you send paramilitary mobs to beat peaceful Ladies in White carrying gladioli as the only weapon; as you arrest stops mothers with their children; as you use children as shields in acts of repudiation against those who think differently and also serve as witnesses for horrific scenes of physical violence. And this same world is recognizing the talent of Angel, rewarding him, as happened in September when he was awarded the Franz Kafka International Novel from the Drawer Prize, and the tribute he received in November in Montreal.
Raul Castro, with the world as a witness, we hold you directly responsible for whatever happens to Ángel Santiesteban-Prats.
Justice always comes.
Enough of the dictatorship.
Freedom NOW for Cuba.
13 January 2014