Call for action to free Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and other Cuban political prisoners

Call for action to free Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and other Cuban political prisoners

July 9, 2022
Signatures: 38Next Goal: 50
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Why this petition matters

Started by Free Cuba

Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara began a hunger and thirst strike on July 4, 2022, and learned on July 20th that he had ended it, but do not know in what condition.

This is known because Luis Manuel was able to receive a family visit on July 20, 2022. However, new concerns have arisen.

The San Isidro Movement warns they've placed a problematic prisoner next to Luis, who's already attacked another person and who's been bothering Luis Manuel. They fear for Luis's safety.

He is a founder and leader of the San Isidro Movement that has sought to defend artistic expression in Cuba.

Members of the San Isidro Movement, who raised the conscience of many Cubans with their nonviolent responses to regime repression -- and whose song Patria y Vida [ Homeland and Life ], a play on the official motto Patria o Muerte [Homeland or Death], became a rallying cry nationwide --  have been singled out for specially harsh treatment. 

As things stand now, most of these young Cubans –poets, journalists, visual artists, musicians and even a scientist- have been forced into exile.

Those who have sought to return -- their  right under Article 13 of the UN Human Rights Declaration -- have been barred from doing so by the regime.  

Two high profile members who remain on the island are being held in prison under terrible conditions. Both have been recognized by Amnesty International as prisoners of conscience.      

Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, jailed since July 11, 2021 and Cuban rapper Maykel Castillo Pérez "Osorbo," detained since May 18, 2022, were subjected to political show trials on May 30-31, 2022. They received sentences of five and nine years respectively.  

Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara started a hunger and thirst strike on July 4, 2022 demanding his immediate release and without conditions.

Maykel Castillo is in poor health, and has been denied medical treatment.

These are only some examples. There are hundreds of other compelling stories of abuse of innocent civilians by a brutal regime.

We fear that statements condemning the actions of the dictatorship, without specific actions by the international community will not end the ongoing repression.

At a bare minimum, diplomatic ties should be conditioned to allowing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) into Cuban prisons.

We implore you to address the Cuban government urgently to free all Cuban political prisoners, cease its systematic repression of San Isidro Movement activists, grant the ICRC access to inspect Cuban prisons, and release prisoners of conscience Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, and Maykel Castillo Pérez "Osorbo."

Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara's and Maykel Castillo Pérez's lives continue in jeopardy.

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