Monday, June 21, 2010

Amnesty International Urgent Action for Dr. Darsi Ferrer

UPDATE June 24, 2010: Amnesty International released statement Release of Cuban prisoner of conscience long overdue which in part states:

"We are very pleased that Darsi Ferrer was released the same day of his trial and is back with his family, but he was detained on trumped up criminal charges and in truth he should never have been detained in the first place" said Kerrie Howard, Amnesty International's Americas deputy director.

“Though he has been released, Darsi Ferrer’s sentence still constitutes punishment for criticising the government system and is a powerful message to any Cuban participating in dissenting activities and wishing to express opinions contrary to the government system”.

UPDATE June 23, 2010:
Reporters Without Borders statement released which in part states:

“We are obviously relieved by Ferrer’s release even if he was finally given a jail sentence to match the time he already had spent behind bars,” Reporters Without Borders said. “No one is fooled about the real reason for his detention as this is a country in which the authorities tolerate no public expression of dissenting views. His release was not in any way an act of clemency or, even less so, a sign of an improvement in respect for basis rights and freedoms.”

Cuba still has approximately 200 prisoners of conscience, who include 24 journalists. One of them is the Reporters Without Borders correspondent Ricardo González Alfonso, who has been held since the “Black Spring” crackdown of March 2003.

Generation Y posts video interview with Dr. Darsi Ferrer by independent journalist Jose Alberto Alvarez shortly after his release:

UPDATE 6:00pm (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes) Darsy Ferrer, a prominent Cuban opposition figure jailed nearly a year ago, kisses his wife Yusnaimy Jorge Soca and son after being released from custody following his trial, in Havana, Tuesday, June 22, 2010.

UPDATE 2:01pm: Reuters and the Associated Press reports that Dr. Darsi Ferrer given conditional release sentenced to 15 months house arrest. First 3 months at home, then 12 months of work. Regime had threatened with 3 years imprisonment. Darsi had already spent 11 months and 1 day in prison without trial. The trial ended about 1:30 p.m. Let us not forget that many remain behind bars.

Darsi Ferrer to face trial on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 in Cuba in a process that falls short of international standards. Please call on authorities to release Darsi Ferrer immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience

UA: 134/10 Index: AMR 25/008/2010 Cuba Date: 18 June 2010


CUBAN Prisoner of conscience FACING TRIAL

Cuban human rights defender Darsi Ferrer is due to be tried on 22 June on spurious charges of receiving illegally obtained goods and violence or intimidation against a state official. He has already been in pre-trial detention for 11 months. Amnesty International believes that he is a prisoner of conscience, and is calling on the authorities to drop the charges against him and release him immediately and unconditionally.

Darsi Ferrer is Director of the Juan Bruno Zayas Health and Human Rights Centre in the Cuban capital, Havana. He has also worked as an independent journalist, and written articles criticizing the Cuban health system. Since July 2009 he has been in pre-trial detention in a maximum security prison intended for inmates convicted of violent crimes.

In July 2009, Darsi Ferrer attempted to organize a march demonstrating against repression in Cuba. A few hours before the march was due to take place on 9 July 2009, Darsi Ferrer and his wife Yusnaimy Jorge Soca were detained by state security officials and police officers. Darsi Ferrer was handcuffed and beaten by more than eight police officers. They were released without charge a few hours later, but when they arrived home, they noticed that two bags of cement, some iron girders and two window frames, that had been on their property for a few months, were no longer there. According to neighbours, police officers had taken the construction materials. On 21 July, four police officers went to Darsi Ferrer’s home and asked him to accompany them to a police station for questioning about the construction materials. Instead, he was driven to a maximum security prison on the outskirts of Havana and charged with receiving illegally obtained goods and "violence or intimidation against a state official". The latter charge apparently relates to comments Darsi Ferrer was overheard making, saying that an injustice was being committed, that sooner or later things would change in Cuba and this would not happen any more.

Ordinarily, an individual accused of these crimes would be bailed awaiting trial. However, Darsi Ferrer has been refused bail four times. He will be tried before a municipal court, but according to his wife, the presiding judge will be from a provincial court normally dealing with crimes against state security.

Darsi Ferrer has previously been detained and prevented from leading and participating in major human rights events. Since 2006 he has been detained or summoned to a police station around 10 December every year, apparently to prevent him from participating in activities celebrating International Human Rights Day, which falls on that day.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Spanish or your own language:

  • Calling on the authorities to release Darsi Ferrer immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience held simply because of his activism to promote freedom of expression.


Head of State and Government

Raúl Castro Ruz Presidente

La Habana, Cuba

Fax: +53 7 8333085 (via Foreign Ministry); +1 2127791697 (via Cuban Mission to UN)

Email: (c/o Cuban Mission to UN)

Salutation: Su Excelencia/Your Excellency

Interior Minister

General Abelardo Coloma Ibarra

Ministro del Interior y Prisiones

Ministerio del Interior, Plaza de la Revolución, La Habana, Cuba

Fax: +53 7 8333085 (via Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

+1 2127791697 (via Cuban Mission to UN)

Salutation: Su Excelencia/Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives of Cuba accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.


CUBAN Prisoner of conscience FACING TRIAL

Additional Information

The right to a fair trial is limited in Cuba, with courts and prosecutors under government control. Cuba’s National Assembly elects the President, Vice-President and the other judges of the Peoples’ Supreme Court, as well as the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General. In addition, all courts are subordinate to the National Assembly and the Council of State, raising concerns over internationally recognised standards for fair trial and the right to trial by an independent and impartial tribunal. The right to a fair and proper defence is also unlikely to be fully respected, as lawyers are employed by the Cuban government and as such may be reluctant to challenge prosecutors or evidence presented by the state intelligence services.

UA: XX/10 Index: AMR 25/XXX/2010 Issue Date: 16 June 2010

Darsi Ferrer recognized as an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience on 2/26/10

February 26, 2010 Previous Urgent Action: Cuba: Release Darsi Ferrer: Take action now!

Cuban human rights activist in maximum security prison must be released - Amnesty International , February 26, 2010


  1. Abajo la dictadura facsita de los castro, freedon for dalsi ferrel

  2. Gracias a Dios esta en su casa con su familia aunque cumpliendo una condena injusta!