Hunger strike in Cuba
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    Angel Santiesteban: Open Letter to the UN Commission on Human Rights

    Angel Santiesteban: Open Letter to the UN Commission on Human Rights*
    Posted on April 24, 2013

    I write to you from the depths of despair produced by being a prisoner
    of conscience in one of the horrendous prisons of the Castro brothers.
    In their hands is the opportunity to impose agony upon an extensive
    penal population that survives the cruelest famine and physical and
    psychological torture.

    To hide the truth, I was taken on April 9 just before international
    journalists arrived at La Lima prison. They took me out by the back door
    and I was taken to another prison, 1580, where they have committed all
    sorts of outrages and humiliations worthy of Nazi concentration camps.

    The lack of food and proper sanitation are the other elements that add
    up to make this a real prison camp. They violate the most basic rights
    of human beings and their families. Prisoners live crammed together amid
    continuing violence.

    In recent months there have been two large fires of unexplained causes.
    Multiple suicides are also a daily part of life in prison.

    Upon my arrival, after several days of hunger strike and being put in
    solitary with no light, no water, no clothes or toiletries, I was
    attacked by several guards, holding me by my limbs while another
    squeezed my nostrils shut until I opened my mouth to breathe, and then
    they put stinking soup in my mouth that choked me; and so, over and
    over, until I was on the floor completely covered in the food helpless
    to avoid it.

    I want to report to Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Quintana, head of the
    Havana Province.

    I also want to clarify that my situation is not the worst. I would like
    them to listen to the abused themselves so that they can explain the
    hell in which they live. I fear not being credible enough to expose the
    horror and the wickedness that we suffer daily.

    The dictatorship must understand once and for all that it is impossible
    to maintain disastrous power based on the people’s pain.

    We beg this to take the testimony firsthand, under full oath, and ask
    God to put his pitying hands on this country forgotten by the
    international community, and that they manage to collect the testimonies
    of prisoners without their being threatened ahead of time, as usual.

    We ask that Cuba sign the UN covenants and accept the statements of
    Human Rights, if not, to take appropriate measures to expel the concert
    of free nations which aims to live undiscovered barbarism imposed on us.

    We are a devastated country which — despite these fifty-four years of
    slavery — we still dream of becoming a prosperous nation.

    Please accept my thanks in advance.

    Ángel Santiesteban Prats

    Prisión 1580. San Miguel del Padrón, Havana. Cuba.

    * The HRC in Geneva, Switzerland, was created by 47 member states on
    March 15, 2006 in the Assembly of the United Nations, to promote
    universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental
    freedoms of all persons, without distinction of any kind, and in a fair
    and equitable manner. Along with the Security Council, these are two of
    the principal organs of the highest level and prestige within the UN system.

    23 April 2013″

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