AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL URGENT ACTION
prisoner of conscience on hunger strike Cuban artist Danilo Maldonado Machado has been on hunger strike since 8 September to protest his detention without trial in Cuba. He was detained in December 2014 and is accused of “contempt”. Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.
On 25 December 2014 agents of the political police (Seguridad del Estado) arrested graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado Machado, known as ‘El Sexto’, while he was travelling in a taxi on the waterfront promenade (malecón) in Havana, the capital of Cuba. He was transporting two pigs with the names “Raúl” and “Fidel” painted on them in the car boot, which he intended to release in an artistic show in Havana’s Central Park.
Danilo Maldonado Machado was taken to a police station where he was accused of “disrespecting the leaders of the Revolution,” and then sent to El Vivac prison on 28 December. On 29 December, a habeas corpus action was filed before the Provincial Court of Havana to protect his human rights and demand his release. It was rejected by the Court on 30 December. On 2 January 2015 he was transferred to Valle Grande prison on the outskirts of Havana where he remains and is awaiting to appear before a court.
Although the prosecution office (Fiscalía Provincial) in charge of the investigation has not yet presented a formal accusation, it is believed that Danilo Maldonado Machado is being charged with “aggravated contempt” (desacato), a provision in the Cuban Penal code making all forms of disrespect of state officials a criminal offence.
On 8 September Danilo Maldonado Machado started a hunger strike to protest his detention and has since been transferred to an isolated cell in Valle Grande prison. Since 17 September, he has not been allowed to receive visitors and is suffering from health issues related to the hunger strike. He is receiving medical assistance at the prison.
Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:
Calling on the authorities to release Danilo Maldonado Machado immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression;
Calling on them to repeal all legislation which unduly limits freedom of expression, assembly and association;
Urging them to ensure that, pending his release, he is provided with any medical care which he may require during his hunger strike; not tortured or otherwise ill-treated; and that he is granted regular access to family and lawyers of his choosing.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 10 NOVEMBER 2015 TO: President of the Republic
Raúl Castro Ruz
Presidente de la República de Cuba
La Habana, Cuba
Fax: +41 22 758 9431 (Cuba office in Geneva); +1 212 779 1697 (via Cuban Mission to UN)
Email: email@example.com (c/o Cuban Mission to UN) Salutation: Your Excellency Attorney General
Dr. Darío Delgado Cura
Fiscal General de la República
Fiscalía General de la República Amistad 552, e/Monte y Estrella
La Habana, Cuba Salutation: Dear Attorney General