Saturday, April 1, 2017


UA: 76/17 Index: AMR 25/6001/2017 Cuba Date: 31 March 2017


Two days after Fidel Castro's death, a family of four human rights
defenders were
arrested in Holguín, south-east Cuba. They received a one-year sentence,
and the three
siblings are currently on hunger strike. They are prisoners of
conscience and must be
released immediately and unconditionally.

Twin sisters Anairis and Adairis Miranda Leyva, their brother, Fidel
Manuel Batista Leyva, and their mother,
Maydolis Leyva Portelles, all human rights defenders, were arrested on
27 November 2016, two days after the
death of Fidel Castro for allegedly leaving their house during the
period of state mourning. The initial arrests took
place in Holguín and coincided with an "act of repudiation" (acto de
repudio), a government-led demonstration that
is common in Cuba, carried out at the family's home. The family are
government critics, known for their activism
and associated with a number of political and human rights movements
including Movimiento Cubano de Reflexión
(Cuban Reflection Movement). According to Maydolis Leyva Portelles,
currently under house arrest, there were
many non-uniformed state security officials, including political police
and military officials, present during the arrest.
Maydolis Leyva Portelles and her children were charged under Article 204
of the Penal Code, which criminalizes
defamation of institutions, organizations and heroes and martyrs of the
Republic of Cuba, and with public disorder.
On 13 January, a court of second instance upheld a one-year prison
sentence for all three siblings, but allowed
their mother to carry out her sentence under house arrest in order to
care for her grandchildren, Adairis' children.
According to their mother, the three siblings began a hunger strike on 7
March, the day they began serving their
sentences and were imprisoned. The siblings are currently being held in
three separate hospitals in critical
condition. Doctors informed their mother that Adairis is at risk of a
heart attack and that Fidel is urinating blood; and
that all have lost significant weight. On her last hospital visit,
Maydolis Leyva Portelles says that she was asked to
sign a document which would authorize doctors to force feed her three
children, which she refused to do. She told
Amnesty International, "I don't want any of my children to die, but I
want to respect their wishes." All three siblings
and their mother are prisoners of conscience and must be released
immediately and unconditionally.
Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:
- Calling on the authorities to release Anairis Miranda Leyva, Adairis
Miranda Leyva, and Fidel Manuel Batista
Leyva immediately and unconditionally from imprisonment and Maydolis
Leyva Portelles from house arrest, as they
are prisoners of conscience, imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising
their right to freedom of expression;
- Calling on them to refrain from using measures to punish hunger
strikers or to coerce them to end a hunger
strike, which would be a violation of their right to freedom of expression.
- Urging them to provide the siblings with access to qualified health
professionals providing health care in
compliance with medical ethics, including the principles of
confidentiality, autonomy, and informed consent.
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: (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
Centro Habana, La Habana, Cuba
Salutation: Dear Attorney General/
Señor Fiscal General
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your
country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address
Salutation Salutation
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above

According to its webpage, El Movimiento Cubano de Reflexión is a
non-violent organization which aims to mobilize Cuban
citizens to bring about social change.
The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, a
Cuban-based human rights NGO not recognized by
the state, documented a monthly average of 827 politically motivated
detentions in 2016.
Provisions of the Cuban Criminal Code, such as contempt of a public
official (desacato), resistance to public officials carrying
out their duties (resistencia) and public disorder (desórdenes públicos)
are frequently used to stifle free speech, assembly and
association in Cuba.
Article 204 of the Cuba Penal Code criminalizes "defamation of
institutions, organizations and heroes and martyrs of the
Republic of Cuba." (Difamación de las instituciones y organizaciones y
de los héroes y mártires). Under the law, anyone who
publically defames, denigrates or disparages institutions of the Cuban
Republic, or political organizations, or heroes or martyrs
of the homeland, risks sanctions of deprivation of liberty of three
months to a year or a fine.
Under international law, the use of defamation laws with the purpose or
effect of inhibiting legitimate criticism of the government
or public officials violates the right to freedom of expression.
Name: Anairis and Adairis Miranda Leyva (f), Fidel Manuel Batista Leyva
(m), Maydolis Leyva Portelles (f)
Gender m/f: all
UA: 76/17 Index: AMR 25/6001/2017 Issue Date: 31 March 2017


No comments:

Post a Comment