Jailed dissident rapper beat by more than 10 guards and other police officials #FreeElCritico


(Bayamo, Cuba) – A group of more than 10 guards from the Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo, alongside State Security and Ministry of Interior officials, savagely beat jailed dissident rapper Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, best known by his artist name “El Critico”.  The violence occurred on Sunday, February 23rd, confirmed Remon’s wife, Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena, a victim of constant persecution as well.

The imprisoned musician – a member of the underground hip hop group “Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso” (The Unwanted Children) – has been carrying out a series of protests from prison, refusing to shave his facial hair and writing words like “change” and “freedom” on his sheets.  However, on the 23rd, guards and other security officials used blades to forcefully shave his beard, causing him several cuts, says Yudisbel.  After this incident, “the more than 10 officials beat him and shouted offenses at him, ordering him to stop his protests”, adds the young wife.

El Critico’s response was that he’d rather die in the struggle than give in to the demands of the Cuban regime.  The rapper was jailed on March 23rd of 2013 after a series of police home raids, beatings and short detentions in his hometown of Bayamo.  State Security agents accuse him of “attempt” although the reason behind his imprisonment is his protest music and having placed several signs with anti-regime messages in public.  He has not had a trial and has been in a judicial limbo for what will soon be a year.  Remon is also denied medical attention, despite suffering from chronic gastritis, and is barred from family visits. His actions of not shaving (and occasionally carrying out hunger strikes) is to protest the unfair and false accusations against him.

On her part, Yudisbel Roseyo is also the victim of frequent persecution, as she is arrested mostly on Sundays for participating alongside the Ladies in White in marching to morning Mass to pray for the freedom of Cuba’s political prisoners, her husband among them.  She too has been beat, offended, detained and deported by State Security officials.

Activists and bloggers have continued to use #FreeElCritico on Twitter and other social networks as part of a digital campaign to demand the immediate release of the Cuban rapper.

For more information straight from Cuba, contact Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena: Cell Phone – 53-552-353

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