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Freedom for the Ferrer Garcia Brothers
Petition Background (Preamble):
José Daniel Ferrer García, 34
Local coordinator of the Varela Project, independent journalist
Sentence: 25 years
Date of arrest: 19 March 2003
Home town: Santiago de Cuba
Prison: Combinado del Este Prison, Havana
Luis Enrique Ferrer García, 31
Local coordinator of the Varela Project
Sentence: 28 years
Date of arrest: 19 March 2003
Home town: Puerto Padre, Las Tunas province
Prison: Carlos J. Finlay Hospital, Havana
As Coordinator of the Christian Liberation Movement (Movimento Cristiano Liberación-MCL) in the province of Las Tunas, Luis Enrique Ferrer organized groups of people who were able to collect hundreds of signatures for the Varela Project. As a result of the work that put organizers like Luis Enrique Ferrer and his older brother, independent journalist José Daniel Ferrer at great personal risk, over 11,020 signatures were collected and presented to the National Assembly in May 2002. Luis Enrique Ferrer personally presented copies of the signatures to visiting foreign legislators.
Luis Enrique Ferrer received the longest sentence of all of those arrested in the recent crackdown. He was sentenced to 28 years’ imprisonment and is currently being held at the prison Combinado del Este in Havana. It is unclear why Mr. Ferrer received such a particularly long sentence. His prison conditions are harsh. In a dark cell, no larger than 8 by 4 feet, with nowhere to sleep but a concrete platform, Luis Enrique Ferrer is reported to be suffering from severe vomiting and diarrhea. Mr. Ferrer is being held in solitary confinement and is being subjected to additional punishment as a result of his refusal to wear prison uniform.
José Daniel Ferrer, sentenced to 25 years, is reported to be in similar conditions in a prison in Pinar del Rio. He is being held in solitary confinement in a cell reported to be approximately nine by three feet and completely dark. The cell has no water supply, José Daniel only has access to water when it is brought to him by the guards.
Luis Enrique Ferrer, born August 27, 1976, in the province of Santiago de Cuba, is a man of humble origins. As a fisherman, he had his first confrontation with the regime when officials confiscated the fish that he had caught to feed his family. He and his brother, José Daniel Ferrer, age 32, have played an active role in the young, but growing, human rights and democracy movement within the island.
According to other activists who have worked with Luis Enrique in Cuba, before being imprisoned, he was a pioneer in organizing seminars and workshops on human rights and civic education for Santiago de Cuba. José Daniel Ferrer, apart from collecting signatures for the Varela Project, is an independent journalist whose work often deals with human rights issues.
In October 2004, Luis Enrique Ferrer García, the youngest of the 75 dissidents arrested in March 2003, was reportedly stripped and beaten by prison guards and officials in the Youth Prison of Santa Clara.
Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores
Calzada No. 360
Vedado, La Habana, CUBA
Fax: 011 53 7 333 085
Dear Foreign Minister,
We, the undersigned, strongly urge the Cuban government to release José Daniel Ferrer García and Luis Enrique Ferrer García along with all political prisoners and specifically request the immediate release of prisoners and all other individuals who were arrested and convicted on the basis of their peaceful political activities and their efforts to promote and protect basic human rights in Cuba.
While they remain in detention, I urge you to ensure that both Luis Enrique and Jose Daniel are not subjected to abuse and that their conditions of detention meet basic international standards. International human rights law requires that all persons held in detention are treated with humanity and dignity and that they are not subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The Cuban government should ensure the application of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of all Persons Under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, which further elaborate the basic standards to be achieved in ensuring respect for the rights of detainees.
CC: Raul Castro Ruz
Presidente de los Consejos de Estados y de Ministros
La Habana, CUBA
The Freedom for the Ferrer Garcia Brothers petition to Cuban Government was written by Free Cuba Foundation and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: prisoners of conscience, cuba, cuban, project varela, luis enrique ferrer garcia, josé daniel ferrer