Thursday, February 23, 2012

Amnesty International Urgent Action for José Daniel Ferrer García

UA: 60/12 Index: AMR 25/005/2012 Cuba Date: 23 February 2012
Former prisoner of conscience José Daniel Ferrer García’s whereabouts are unknown following his alleged arrest in central Havana, Cuba, on 21 February.

José Daniel Ferrer García

Former prisoner of conscience José Daniel Ferrer García, who is on conditional release from prison, is believed to have been re-arrested in central Havana on 21 February. He had travelled to Havana from Santiago de Cuba province to meet with diplomats, human rights activists and dissidents in connection with his work as the coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unión Patriótica de Cuba, UNPACU), an umbrella group of dissident organizations based in eastern Cuba.

On 21 February, José Daniel Ferrer García was travelling by taxi with Elizardo Sánchez, coordinator of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and Reconciliation (Comisión Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional, CCDHRN), whose office he had just visited. Elizardo Sánchez exited the taxi in the central neighbourhood of Vedado and five minutes later received a text message from José Daniel Ferrer García which stated he was being detained by police. On 22 February, the Elizardo Sánchez contacted the police information service and was informed that there was no record of José Daniel Ferrer García being held in any detention facility.

There has been no news of his whereabouts since then.

José Daniel Ferrer García was granted conditional release in March 2011, having served eight of his 25 year sentence. Under the terms of his release, he could be sent back to prison to serve out the remainder of his sentence - 16 years. Amnesty International believes his arrest is an attempt to repress the peaceful dissident activities he and members of UNPACU are undertaking in eastern Cuba.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

Calling on the authorities to provide information as to the circumstances of José Daniel Ferrer García’s arrest on 21 February and immediately reveal his current whereabouts;

Urging them, that if detained, to immediately release José Daniel Ferrer García, unless there is sufficient evidence to charge him with an internationally-recognizable criminal offence;

Urging them to immediately cease the harassment and intimidation of members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba and all other citizens who seek to peacefully exercise their rights to freedom of expression and association.


Head of State and Government
Raúl Castro Ruz
Presidente de la República de Cuba
La Habana,
Fax: +53 7 83 33 085 (via Foreign
Ministry); +1 212 779 1697 (via Cuban
Mission to UN)
Email: (c/o Cuban Mission to UN)

Salutation: Your Excellency
Interior Minister
General Abelardo Coloma Ibarra
Ministro del Interior y Prisiones
Ministerio del Interior,
Plaza de la Revolución,
La Habana,
Fax: +1 212 779 1697 (via Cuban Mission to UN)

Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Attorney General
Dr. Darío Delgado Cura
Fiscalía General de la República,
Fiscalía General de la República,
Amistad 552, e/Monte y Estrella, Centro
La Habana, Cuba

Salutation: Dear Attorney General

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.


Prisoner of conscience José Daniel Ferrer García was granted conditional release in March 2011 following eight years imprisonment. He was one of 75 people who were arrested and sentenced following a crackdown on Cuban dissidence in March 2003. All 75 were adopted as prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International, as they had acted non-violently and were imprisoned under Cuban legislation which illegitimately criminalizes political dissent. José Daniel Ferrer García was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in relation to his participation in the Varela Project, which aimed at requesting a national referendum on democratic reforms. Article 31.1.4 of the Cuban Criminal Code states that conditional release allows a prisoner to see out the remainder of their sentence outside prison provided they demonstrate “good behaviour” (“buena conducta”).

The Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) is an umbrella group of dissident organizations, based primarily in Santiago de Cuba, but also in neighbouring provinces of eastern Cuba. UNPACU seeks democratic change in Cuba via non-violent means.

Since UNPACU’s creation in mid-2011, its members have faced constant harassment and intimidation form the Cuban authorities, including arbitrary detention. One of UNPACU’s members, prisoner of conscience Wilman Villar Mendoza died in January 2012 following a hunger strike in protest at his four-year prison sentence following a summary trial. This repression is part of a general crackdown against dissidents in the eastern provinces of Cuba which has gathered pace since mid-2011.

Name: José Daniel Ferrer García
Gender m/f: m
UA: 60/12 Index: AMR 25/005/2012 Issue Date: 23 February 2012

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