Poster translated: Liberty for Josvany Melchor Rodríguez, A youth with mental limitations. Sentenced to 12 years in prison because his mother, a member of MCL, refused to collaborate with the political police. Information: http://www.oswaldopaya.org/es
State Security agents visited Rosa María Rodríguez Gil, a member of the Christian Liberation Movement, and demanded that she spy on the organization for the Castro regime. She was warned by the agents that if she did not comply and spy for them, her son would suffer.
Relatives of Cuban dissidents have suffered harassment, punishment and prison just for being a member of their family. Josvany Melchor Rodríguez who turns 30 in 2012 was detained by State Security on March 19, 2010 housed with convicted criminals and sentenced to 12 years in prison in a sham trial. Although he is mentally challenged, Josvany was accused of helping a baseball player and the player's wife to defect. Another individual had already pleaded guilty to the "offense" and been sentenced to 12 years in prison on November 30, 2010. The reality is that Josvany is serving a 12 year prison sentence for two reasons: his mother refused to spy on human rights activists and he refused to denounce his mother and end his relationship with her.
Unfortunately this is not an arbitrary act of injustice but a deeply ingrained part of the communist system that operates in Cuba and elsewhere.
Since the founding of the Soviet Union and the launching of the Red Terror in 1918 communist regimes have punished the relatives of dissidents and conscientious objectors with great brutality in including shooting one family member from each family.
In 2011, Amnesty International reported how the families of human rights lawyers in China are harassed and mistreated. These are not isolated cases but a tactic within a larger overall strategy to destroy not only the individual who dissents but his family as well.
Brutality against family members was taken to great extreme in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge where a theory of contamination meant that not only was the dissident imprisoned and executed but also his entire family. This was because according to Pol Pot "contaminated people" had to be destroyed. People contaminated by Western influence needed to be exterminated.
The only way to save Josvany Melchor Rodríguez is to let others know of his plight. Please spread the word.
For more information visit the website of Oswaldo Paya, of the Christian Liberation Movement