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Startseite Urgent Actions 2021 05 Artist opposing censorship in detention Prisoner of conscience released
FI 055/21-1
Abgeschlossen am 14. Juni 2021

Prisoner of conscience released

AI-Index: AMR 25/4256/2021

After a month in detention at the General Calixto Garcia hospital in Havana, prisoner of conscience Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara, a member of the San Isidro Movement, was released on 31 May 2021 without any charges presented against him nor conditions for his release. Although it is good news that Luis Manuel is now home, the harassment and intimidation he has endured for his human rights work is shameful. We will continue to monitor on his situation.

On 2 May 2021 state security officials took Luis Manuel from his home, the headquarters of the San Isidro Movement, where he was carrying out a hunger strike in protest over authorities having confiscated artwork from his home days earlier.

Just as during his previous detention in hospital in November 2020, Luis Manuel Otero explained that state security officials subjected him to constant physical surveillance and pre-vented him from leaving the hospital. According to his testimony, he had no access to communication with the outside world and had restricted visits during his time in hospital. During the latter part of his detention, he said state security officials registered anyone who entered his room, included nurses and doctors.

He also told Amnesty International that during the month of his detention, he was allowed outside only around 3 times, he believes so that the authorities could film him and show proof of his whereabouts as international pressure on his case mounted. For much of his detention, according to his testimony, the authorities kept the bright hospital lights on day and night, which under international human rights standards could amount to ill-treatment.

In Cuba, political activists, independent journalists and artists, as well as human rights de-fenders are regularly detained, harassed and intimidated solely for defending and exercising their freedom of expression. Luis Manuel should have never been deprived of his liberty in the first place.

After his release, he deeply thanked Amnesty International for all the support.

No further action is requested. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.

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