Let’s save the lives of Cuban human rights defenders on hunger strike

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To Peter Maurer, President, International Committee of the Red Cross and five others:

The signatories, doctors concerned about the progressive deterioration of the health and potential death of 26 Cubans, promoters of human rights on the island, who have been on hunger strike since March 20. We address your organizations urging the immediate attention and intervention that these cases deserve.

The Cuban regime has not only increased repression against members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), a peaceful dissident organization, but also have surrounded the vicinity of its headquarters to prevent access to the facility. UNPACU headquarters provides humanitarian aid to a significant number of citizens in extreme poverty throughout Santiago de Cuba. Food is given to the hungry, as well as medical services, including medicine to the sick.

The strikers — men and women, including a prisoner of conscience — considered the hunger strike to be the only option available to demand the end of the police harassment against the UNPACU headquarters that prevents access to those who come in search of help. Activists are prevented from carrying out humanitarian work and denied basic rights, such as freedom of movement. The repression they face includes beatings and stoning; these practices do not discriminate against innocent people such as children and the elderly.

On the island, from January 1959 to the present, there have been at least 13 documented cases of Cuban citizens who have died on hunger strike claiming their most fundamental rights. 

The Cuban people are going through one of the most difficult periods in recent decades.

We urge you to speak out in favor of ending the repression against the strikers. Do not be silent in the face of this reality. Act according to the ideals and precepts that should govern your institutions and within the unavoidable duties for which they were created. We implore you to act, and to seek assistance for the people whose lives are at risk.

It is an ethical imperative to speak out in favor of life.

Respectfully,

  1. Dr. Vicente Lago

  2. Dr. Herminio García Estrada

  3. Dr. Alexis Abril

  4. Dr. Manuel Alzugaray

  5. Dr. Jorge Acevedo

  6. Dr. Angel Garrido

  7. Dr. Fernando Alvarez Pérez

  8. Dr. Ramón Dominguez

  9. Dr. Carlos Flores

  10. Dr. Félix González

  11. Dr. Ricardo de Armas

  12. Dr. Andrés Redondo

  13. Dr. Jorge Beato

  14. Dr. Ana Solís

  15. Dr. María del Carmen Valdés

  16. Dr. Henry Sacerio

  17. Dr. Orlando Torres

  18. Dr. Xiomara Puig

  19. Dr. Santiago Cárdenas

  20. Dr. Orlando Rivero

  21. Dr. Lorenzo Rodríguez

  22. Dr. José Brea

  23. Dr. Joel Gómez

  24. Dr. Alejandro Serralvo

  25. Dr. Jorge Marcos

  26. Dr. Roberto Echarri

  27. Dr. Miguel Machado

  28. Dr. Osvaldo de la Pedraja

  29. Dr. Agustin Martínez

  30. Dr. Antonio Barquet

  31. Dr. Omar Vento

  32. Dr. Eduardo Otero

Please sign petition here. (This is not ours, but we wish to share it with others, because of its importance.)