This message was received from Oswaldo Payá in Havana , Cuba on August 11.
Prisoners confined in the provincial prison of Las Tunas informed us via telephone of the grave situation of Alfredo Domínguez Batista and José Daniel Ferrer, who last week, declared themselves on a hunger strike to protest abuses against them by the State Security and prison guards.
José Daniel Ferrer has been confined to a cell where he must sleep on the floor and where rats constantly appear out of the hole that serves as his bathroom. It is difficult to imagine a cell with crueler conditions.
Alfredo Domínguez was sent to a Dantesque place of punishment, known as “Potosí,” far away from the prison. He was confined, without clothes, in another cage called the “punishment cell,” where mosquitoes devour him as he has no way to protect himself.
This torturous regimen is destroying these peaceful prisoners, who are organizers of the Varela Project. The executioners of the Las Tunas prison deliberately provoked these prisoners with taunts and tricks about visits, including lying to their families when they came to the prison to ask about them.
It is urgent that governments and institutions around the world, including Amnesty International, protest and take action to stop this situation of torture and systematic ruthless treatment against these prisoners. While the minutes go by, they suffer horribly in both body and mind from the inhumane conditions to which the government of Cuba subjects them.
Oswaldo José Payá Sardiñas
Coordinator of the Christian Liberation Movement
International Representatives, Christian Liberation Movement