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Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 10 Opposition leader detained
UA 134/19
Abgeschlossen am 12. November 2019

Opposition leader detained

AI-Index: AMR 25/1163/2019

On 1 October 2019, Cuban authorities detained José Daniel Ferrer García, leader of the unofficial political opposition group «Patriotic Union of Cuba» (Unión Patriótica de Cuba - UNPACU) in Santiago de Cuba. He was held incommunicado for 72 hours and remains in detention without charges. Ferrer García should be informed of the charges or otherwise release him, have access to lawyers of his choosing and family as well as access to medical care.

Additional information

According to information available to Amnesty International, José Daniel Ferrer García, leader of the unofficial political opposition group «Patriotic Union of Cuba» (Unión Patriótica de Cuba - UNPACU), was detained by authorities on 1 October, for reasons not yet known. He was held incommunicado for at least 72 hours. José Daniel Ferrer García is one of the most critical voices in the Caribbean state.

According to his wife, on the morning of 1 October, law enforcement officials detained José Daniel Ferrer García in his house in Santiago de Cuba.

Under international human rights standards, anyone who is arrested or detained must be informed of the reasons why they are being deprived of their liberty at the time of their arrest. International standards also require that individuals are brought before a judge promptly after arrest or detention. However, based on the information available to Amnesty International, as of 7 October the authorities had not formally informed José Daniel Ferrer García of the grounds for his detention nor had they brought him before a court. As such, his detention may be arbitrary.

Furthermore, according to his wife, authorities did not provide José Daniel Ferrer García with access to his family or a phone call until 72 hours after his detention. People held in custody are entitled to notify a third person that they have been arrested or detained and where they are held. Detention without access to the outside world incommunicado detention facilitates torture or other ill-treatment and enforced disappearance.

Currently, José Daniel Ferrer García is held in detention in Santiago de Cuba. According to his wife, his health is delicate, however, authorities have denied him medical assistance and he was prevented from receiving medication from his family.

Cuban authorities have imprisoned, harassed and intimidated José Daniel Ferrer García for more than a decade due to his political activism. Amnesty International previously declared José Daniel Ferrer García a prisoner of conscience, along with 74 others who were imprisoned in 2003 solely for the peaceful expression of their opinions.

In 2018, José Daniel Ferrer García was held incommunicado for 10 days.

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