Havana, Cuba, Jul 6, 2009 / 23:42 pm
Yenysel Diaz Sanchez, daughter of the Cuban prisoner of conscience Antonio Ramon Diaz Sanchez, has called for her father’s human rights to be respected and for an end to the physical and psychological abuse he is suffering, despite his poor health.
In a letter sent to the Catholic News Agency, Yenysel said her father, who was imprisoned in 2003, is one of the original founders of the Christian Liberation Movement and worked to gather the first signatures in support of the Varela Project. “As a reward the government condemned him to 20 years in a prison more than 434 miles from his home,” Yenysel said.
In her letter she revealed that eight months ago her father was sent to a military hospital for treatment for ulcers he developed while in prison. State security officials offered to house him in a prison closer to his home during that time if he agreed to wear “the normal prisoner’s uniform, that is, of a criminal.” However, since “he did not accept this blackmail,” he was sent to another prison 310 miles from his home in the town of Canaleta.
Yenysel said her father is being kept in deplorable conditions “in a cell that is the size of cage, with a small hole as a latrine and slab of stone for a bed, in constant darkness and dampness, and no communication with the outside world.” She said he is being given “concentration camp-like nourishment, without regard for the diet he has been prescribed by doctors.”
She went on to note that her father “is only defending his dignity in conditions of complete physical disadvantage but with total moral reasoning.”
She pleaded “with people of all good will not to let our father die in the dungeons of the Cuban prisons at the hands of people who are incapable of respecting the rights of a man who has dedicated his life to defending the human rights of an entire people.”