Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Union activist, journalist arbitrarily detained, beaten up and denied high blood pressure medication

A man of conscience whose life is in danger

Detained & beaten up labor union activist, journalist Iván Hernández Carrillo
 Iván Hernández Carrillo returned to Cuba on July 31, 2016 and was retained at the airport,  beaten up and had medication for his high blood pressure confiscated. He is both an independent labor union activist and journalist. In Cuba, under the Castro dictatorship, this makes him a target of repression. Below is an account of what took place beginning this past Sunday.
On July 31, 2016 at 10:25am an ominous tweet appeared stating "I'm in Havana Cuba's airport. Castro agents want to open and search my bags. They'll have to kill me first to steal something." This would be his last tweet as this blog entry is being prepared on August 2, 2016 at 1:00am.

However his plight would be reported over other twitter accounts that would reference Lady in White Asunción Carrillo and Iván Hernández Carrillo's mom who was demanding that her son be freed and the he be given his blood pressure medication. Another former prisoner of conscience would deliver a writ of habeus corpus demanding Iván's immediate release.
At 6:38pm on July 31, 2016 Cuba Decide reported that Iván Hernández Carrillo had been dragged and kicked at the airport and taken to the police station Santiago de Vegas.
Eight minutes later Cuba Decide generated another tweet quoting the Cuban activist who explained to the repressive forces of the Castro regime:  "Everything has consequences, what I do but also what you do."
On August 1, 2016 at 1:38pm Cuba Decide reported that his mom, Asuncion Carrillo, continues insisting they give Iván his medication for high blood pressure.

Later that same day Cuba Decide tweeted above that "this morning Felix Navarro gave Havana's Provincial Prosecutor a writ of Habeas Corpus in the case of Iván Hernández Carrillo."

 The International Group for Corporate Social Responsiblity in Cuba published an article yesterday reporting that his mom made known on Monday that agents from the police station where her son is being held informed her that they had turned in Ivan's case file to the prosecutor and that he would remain detained 3 to 7 days to determine charges. During the day, an official told her that Iván could be accused of "disrespect" for refusing to have his belongings searched. 

Iván Hernández Carrillois a former prisoner of conscience who on two occasions was jailed for his dissenting views and has been detained for short periods on numerous occasions, and frequently harassed by the Castro dictatorship.

The first time was in 1992 when he was sentenced to two years in prison for "enemy propaganda" and "disrespect for the figure of Fidel Castro." The second time was eleven years later in what became known as the Black Spring on March 18, 2003 he was arbitrarily detained, subjected to a political show trial and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Iván was freed nearly eight years later on February 19, 2011 after sustained campaigns for his release from prison both internally and internationally.

Iván has broken important stories over the years and provided a historical context to where Cuba is today, this blog has also followed his activism in and out of prison over the past seven years. It was an honor to finally meet him on July 6, 2016 in Miami, Florida.

 My prayers and thoughts are with him and his family in these difficult hours.  Please spread the word to others concerning his plight and use the hashtags #FreeIvánHernándezCarrillo and #LibertadParaIvánHernándezCarrillo.

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