With already more than 40 days on hunger strike, the prisoner Michel Martinez Perez, who was sentenced to 10 years behind bars under accusations of ‘theft and sacrifice of a cow’ after a quick trial without any proof, is at serious danger of losing his life, according to his elderly mother, Lazara Martin Perez.
Recently, Michel was transferred to the Hospital of Colon, in Matanzas, where he is supposedly in ‘Section C’. This past Tuesday, November 27th, when his mother traveled some miles to see him during the visitation hours, the authorities refused to let her pass.
“Last Tuesday they denied my visit and now, this Tuesday the 17th, they have done it again“, denounced Lazara, “They told me that they can’t allow visits, they said it’s something I must ask the authorities of Aguica Prison. But, what is the reason that they are denying me the right to see my son? It’s been 15 days since I last saw him and I currently do not know what they are doing with him“.
The Cuban mother fears for the worse, considering that her son- unjustly jailed since August of 2011- has been confined to dungeons under conditions of torture. She expects anything from his jailers.
“Not too long ago I had a discussion with the penal authorities because they had Michel in a punishment cell during the recent cold nights, and they had him without a sweater, a blanker or any sort of sheets. He was nearly naked“, recounts Lazara, “he had on some very short shorts and a sleeveless shirt“.
On other occasions, she adds, guards have hurled buckets of cold water on Michel and left him naked in sealed off dark and damp cells, all with the purpose to crack his spirit, but he remains firm in his protest. He has carried out several hunger strikes during his imprisonment but the current one has been the longest and the one which worries his relatives the most.
In her desperation in seeing that no functionary of the regime has even remotely tried to fix the situation for more than a year, Martin Perez has turned to human rights activists in Matanzas, like former political prisoner Ivan Hernandez Carrillo and dissident Francisco Rangel Manzano. Both Hernandez and Rangel, as well as others, have used their voices- and their Twitter accounts- to denounce the abuses against the young Matanzas native who just turned 32 on November 5th.
“The authorities have not given me any information about my son“, assures Lazara, “I don’t even know if they have him with an IV now or if they have him thrown there like an animal. They only tell me that I cannot see him. I take sweaters, clothes and socks for him but I highly doubt they are giving these things to him… they must be hiding something… they are destroying him“.
Lazara Martin asked that her testimonies be published and be sent to different outlets of the international press because she claims her son is in a very critical situation, between life and death, and that it would be a severe injustice to let him die, especially when he is in prison without having committed a crime.
“My message to the world is they are abusing my young son“, expressed Lazara, “Here in Cuba the youth has no future… they are only tortured. As the mother of Michel Martinez Perez, I demand justice, because I do not know what conditions he is in right now“.
For more information on this case, contact:
Francisco Rangel Manzano- Cell Phone: +5353-287-437 // Twitter: @JFRangelCuba
Iván Hernández Carrillo- Cell Phone: +5352-599-366 // Twitter: @ivanlibre