CubaBrief: Urgent call to action for 27 year old female Cuban political prisoner in grave danger. Victim of Repression denounces rights violations in Cuba, despite efforts to silence him

Today has been an important day for victims of repression in Cuba. At a session of the UN Human Rights Council, a victim of repression was able to speak for 90 seconds on the existing systemic human rights rights violations in Cuba.

At the same time Cuban human rights defenders are extremely concerned about the plight of a young woman jailed for her defense of human rights and beaten for attempting to document prison conditions in the island has been transferred to a psychiatric facility, and allegedly tried to commit suicide.

Cuban political prisoner Keilylli de la Mora Valle, age 27

Cuban political prisoner Keilylli de la Mora Valle, age 27

The Center for a Free Cuba earlier today sent out an urgent appeal to human rights organizations around the world to intercede on behalf of Keilylli de la Mora Valle, a 27 year old Cuban human rights defender whose life at this moment is in great danger. A portion of this appeal is reproduced below and explains the urgency of her plight:

… “Keilylli de la Mora Valle, a 27 year old human rights activist and resident of Cienfuegos. She is a member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) and describes herself as “a free and independent Cuban who is 100% Anti-Castro.”  She is now serving an unjust 18 month prison sentence, and this is her second arbitrary detention for political reasons.  She had already served a ten month prison sentence that was politically motivated, and suffered “cruel and inhuman treatment” during  this first prison sentence according to a statement she made on June 1, 2020.  Keilylli entered prison on June 4, 2020 and managed to record conditions in the prison with a hidden camera which outraged officials and began applying punishments, including a physical beating, and  extending her prison sentence that drove her to start a hunger and thirst strike that lasted 12 days, and led to her hospitalization.

Continued ill treatment by prison officials led her to announce a second hunger and thirst strike on June 30th, and on July 2nd it was learned that prison officials had claimed that Keilylli de la Mora Valle had “attempted suicide” and was transferred to Gustavo Aldereguia Hospital, the psychiatric hospital in Cienfuegos. There has been no independent verification of her condition by friends or family being able to visit her. The news that she has been sent to a psychiatric facility fills knowledgeable Cuban watchers with dread. The Castro regime has a long track record of using psychiatry as a political weapon and these institutions have also had a record of neglect in which patients have died from exposure.”

Below is a tweet with a video of Keilylli from June 1, 2020 that shows a strong young woman confronting the fact that she is about to begin her second prison sentence in Cuba for her human rights activism.

We remain profoundly concerned for her wellbeing.

This morning at the UN Human Rights Council Ariel Ruiz Urquiola, a Cuban scientist who says he was deliberately infected with HIV by Cuban authorities whilst in jail, addressed the Council. Despite constant interruptions by the Castro regime and its allies on the Human Rights Council, a who’s who of the worst human rights violations.

Cuba intervened five times, while VenezuelaChinaEritrea and North Korea did likewise in support of the Cuban dictatorship’s position.  The English interpreter was unable to interpret for him, because of all the interruptions, but over 95% of the original presentation in Spanish was heard and is reproduced below: 

Madam, Special Rapporteur.

Thank you very much for your important statement on Cuba dated November 6, 2019 where you talked about human rights abuses suffered by Cuban doctors when they are sent by the [Cuban] government to work abroad in disadvantageous conditions in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 

The impact of this exploitation on Cuba’s health care system, and of many victims. The money collected [in these missions] does not go toward benefiting neither the health care or first line oncological treatments as well as the high resolution diagnostic testing such as occurred in the case of patient #322597, my sister whose immunotherapy treatment has been stopped, whether due to the lack of medications or through the use of placebo instead of the active ingredient as a method of torture to break her until her expulsion as a professor at the University of Havana. [sound interrupted]

[These monies are used] to repress ordinary Cubans, also under a regime of modern enslavement and end up in the inoculation of the HIV virus to anyone dissenting with the official speech in the university classroom. [ sound interrupted] Civil society such as in the case of patient #2321, myself at the Pinar del Rio Provincial Hospital on June 25, 2018. I ask the United Nations [until when will these crimes against humanity by the Cuban government remain in impunity ].

Ariel was heard, and his remarks edited together and shared across social media inspiring many. The US Embassy in Havana posted the tweet below quoting the end of the Cuban human rights defender’s statement: ” I ask the United Nations [until when will these crimes against humanity by the Cuban government remain in impunity.”

Michael Lima Cuadra, of NGO translations, edited together Ariel’s presentation and shared it over Youtube and other social media. Below is the statement and it is 95% complete and the message was delivered on the horrors committed by the Castro regime against Cuban doctors, against his sister, and himself.

The Center for a Free Cuba wishes to thank Hillel Neuer of UN Watch who highlighted Ariel’s plight while on hunger strike outside of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and lobbied for his possibility to speak before the Council and share with the world a small portion of Cuba’s real human rights record under the Castro dictatorship.

UrduPoint Network, July 3, 2020

Cuba, Allies Block Activist At UN Human Rights Council

Cuba, backed up by China and North Korea, blocked a Cuban activist from addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday through repeated points of order

by Faizan Hashmi

Geneva, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 3rd Jul, 2020 ) :Cuba, backed up by China and North Korea, blocked a Cuban activist from addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday through repeated points of order.

Ariel Ruiz Urquiola, a scientist who says he was deliberately infected with HIV by the Cuban authorities whilst in jail, was set to address the session in Geneva.

But every time Ruiz Urquiola began to speak, Cuba and other nations immediately intervened, saying the council was discussing human trafficking and his address was off the topic.

After first asking for his accreditation to be removed, Cuba, followed by others, accused him of deviating from the topic, with Havana‘s representative referring to his “groundless accusations”.

Cuba intervened five times, while VenezuelaChinaEritrea and North Korea did likewise in support of Havana‘s position.

“We could spend our entire day here in this situation, which is extremely unpleasant,” said Cuba‘s representative.

The council vice-president Juraj Podhorsky, in the chair, twice urged Ruiz Urquiola to bring his speech to the topic, but eventually declared that time was up and moved on to the next speaker.

The back-and-forth lasted about 10 minutes.

The Council session was focused on human trafficking. Non-governmental organisations participating in a session — in this case, Ingenieurs du Monde — have the opportunity to give their speaking time to activists.

doctor in biological sciences, Ruiz Urquiola is a critic of the Cuban government on environmental issues.

In 2018, the human rights group Amnesty International declared Ruiz Urquiola a prisoner of conscience, saying he had been given a one-year sentence for contempt for allegedly disrespecting two forest rangers under legislation inconsistent with international law.

The scientist claims he was injected with HIV by the authorities while in prison.

Babalu Blog, July 3, 2020

CALL TO ACTION: Life of Cuban prisoner of conscience in immediate danger at a Castro gulag

July 3, 2020 by Alberto de la Cruz

The world needs to know the name of Keilylli de la Mora Valle and speak up for this young Cuban woman fighting the socialist tyranny of the Castro dictatorship. Imprisoned by the Cuban regime, her life is now in immediate danger.

John Suarez reports in Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

Urgent Action for Keilylli de la Mora Valle: Young woman’s life in immediate danger please let others know of her plight & ask Castro to free her now

Please let the Castro regime know that you are concerned about her safety and want proof of life.

Keilylli de la Mora Valle is a courageous woman speaking out for human rights in a six decade old communist dictatorship. The Castro regime has tried to break her spirit, but having failed using the usual tactics of fear, harassment and imprisonment they are heightening the stakes interning her in a psychiatric facility, and are now alleging that she tried to take her own life. She is 27 years old.

On July 2, 2020 at 8:36am Cuban dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia posted a video of Raúl González alerting that Keilylli had been transferred to a Gustavo Aldereguia Hospital, that she had allegedly attempted suicide, and he warned that this could be a manipulation by the dictatorship and that this was an extremely serious situation.

We call on the international community generally, and the International Committee of the Red Cross specifically to request permission to meet with her and ascertain in what condition she is presently in.

On June 1, 2020 the Cuban opposition activist Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia posted a video of the young activist that shows a clear eyed and brave activist definatly facing the prison time that she was about to start. She retweeted the video and told Jose Daniel, “Be assured brother while they repress me more, the stronger I become.” While in prison she was able to secretly record the poor conditions there, smuggle it out but was beaten up, punished and threatened with a longer prison sentence.

Keilylli de la Mora Valle is a member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba and has been active on Twitter since March 2019 and describes herself as a free and independent Cuban who is 100% Anti-Castro.

Continue reading HERE.