German Human Rights NGO expresses concern for Cuban political prisoner, demands release of Keilylli de la Mora Valle and linkage to EU-Cuba negotiations

Political prisoner admitted to psychiatric clinic

ISHR: Freedom of civil rights activists as a condition for negotiations between the EU and Cuba


Frankfurt am Main / Havana, July 6, 2020 – The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) is very concerned about the health of 160 political prisoners in Cuba due to the coronavirus pandemic. The situation of Keilylli de la Mora Valle is particularly threatening. The 27-year-old civil rights activist is a member of the democratic movement “Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU)” and was sentenced to a 18-month prison sentence in an unfair trial. After ill-treatment in prison and two hunger and thirst strikes, she was sent to a psychiatric clinic on July 2 because of an alleged attempted suicide. The ISHR demands the immediate release of Keilylli de la Mora Valle and points out that the Castro regime has used psychiatric clinics in the past to get rid of critics.

“In the past, many patients in psychiatric clinics in Cuba have died from neglect and poor care. Therefore, the ISHR is very concerned about the life of Keilylli de la Mora Valle, who has bravely campaigned for human rights in her home country. The ISHR therefore calls on the EU to tie all negotiations with Cuba to the freedom of the 27-year-old and all Cuban civil rights activists, ”says the ISHR.


Human rights activist Keilylli de la Mora Valle comes from Cienfuegos, the sixth largest city in Cuba. The 27-year-old is a member of the “Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU)”, which was founded by the well-known civil rights activist José Daniel Ferrer. She describes herself as a “free and independent Cuban and opponent of the Castro regime”. For the second time, she has been detained for political reasons – she is currently serving an 18-month sentence in the Centro Mixto para Mujeres de Sabana prison.

During her first ten months in prison, she already suffered from “cruel and inhuman treatment”. After she was arrested again on June 4, 2020, she secretly documented the situation with a hidden camera. When this was discovered, the guards beat her. They also threatened to extend her sentence. In protest, she went on a twelve-day hunger and thirst strike and was hospitalized due to her poor health condition. Since she continued to be subjected to ill-treatment, she went on another hunger and thirst strike on June 30th. “Keilylli was already very weak from the first hunger and thirst strike and is therefore in a critical condition,” explains the ISHR, who has a section on the Caribbean island.


Alleged attempted suicide

After an alleged attempted suicide, she was admitted to Gustavo Aldereguia Hospital, the psychiatric clinic of Cienfuegos, on July 2, 2020. Her family and friends do not currently have any information about her condition, because no one is allowed to visit her. This alarms the ISHR because psychiatric clinics in Cuba – such as the psychiatric clinic in Havana, headed by Eduardo Bernabe Ordaz Ducunge – have helped the regime to torture dissidents and civil rights activists for decades. While the Cuban government has been denying the Red Cross access to its prisons since 1989, the ISHR is calling on the international community to conduct an independent investigation on the condition of Keilylli de la Mora Valle.

Original German text available here.

ISHR – International Society for Human Rights  German Section  Edinsonstrasse 5, D 60388 Frankfurt am Main