Political prisoners suffer inhumane conditions in Cuban prisons


The president of the Christian Liberation Movement, Oswaldo Paya Sardinas, has again denounced the inhuman conditions in which political prisoners and prisoners of conscience are held in Cuba.

In a brief statement, Paya described the suffering of the prison population in Cuba, including a lack of medical care, poor nutrition, crowded conditions, censorship, invasive searches, and mistreatment by prison guards.

He said the lack of medical attention leaves prisoners vulnerable to illness and disease.  Likewise, Paya said the lack of adequate nutrition results in many prisoners contracting “digestive problems and severe stomach infections.”

Other mistreatment suffered by both common and political prisoners includes overcrowding in cells and the lack of potable water. “The plumbing is in very bad shape, and blockage in the lines as well as water leaks in the walls are commonplace, especially in prison cells that are located on the lower floors of the buildings,” Paya said.

He also noted the censorship to which the prisoners are subjected, pointing out that their freedom of expression is suppressed as well as their access to literature.

“On the night before any kind of visit or inspection,” Paya said, the prisoners are rounded up and given “the rules that will be used in the prison during the visit.” “Any prisoner who complains during the inspection could be removed from his cell, which causes emotional instability among the prisoners,” he added.

In addition to all of this, prisoners are also subject to invasive searches and inspections of letters and books in an attempt to intimidate them, as well as mistreatment on the part of prison officials, who receive poor training and instruction.  “There is no consideration of their moral integrity, their sense of humanity and their intellectual or professional level,” Paya said.

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