From the prison of maximum severity in Camaguey, “Kilo 8”, the dissident prisoner Jorge Felix Otero Morales denounces the torture tactics applied recently against two common prisoners. Though these two men are not locked behind bars for political motives, the brutal methods which they are treated with constitute serious violations of their basic human rights. This information has been provided courtesy of independent journalist and Lady in White Caridad Caballero Batista:
Massive protests in the maximum severity prison Kilo 8, a penitentiary where horror, torture, and death prevail
(Camagüey, January 17th 2012). This past 17th of January at 10:20 AM, the common prisoners Reyneiro Gonzalez (34 years of age) and Yasmany Lara Pomares (24 years of age) were victims of cruel torture methods at the hands of the repressive Kilo 8 prison guards. Both these men are serving sentences in the punishment regiment.
Reyneiro was sleeping in cell number 27 in the punishment regiment when a group of prison guards barged in the cell to suddenly carry out a search, with the intent of taking a few writings he had, which consisted of denouncements against a group of prison functionaries who had committed acts of torture against defenseless prisoners. The guards who carried out the search were Luis Chosa and Julio Garcia Torres- alias ‘The Delegate’- who shattered a small box which Reyneiro was planning to send to his young daughter. This led the prisoner to verbally protest in front of the guards.
The functionaries Chosa and Garcia Torres, in reaction to the protests of Reyneiro, handcuffed him with his hands towards his back and forcefully took him to the punishment galley, where they sprayed his eyes with pepper spray and beat him all over his body with sticks. In the face of such a cruel action, the penal population was moved and anti-government protests quickly began to spring up. Shouts of “Down with torture”, “Down with the manipulative military regime”, and “down with the Cuban military dictatorship”.
In light of these protests, Luis Chosa and ‘The Delegate’ took the prisoner Yasmany Pomares out of his solitary confinement cell because he was joining in on the protests. They also pepper sprayed him in the eyes, and beat him all over his body. Both prisoners tortured by the prison guards were snatched of all their clothes and then handcuffed with their feet and hands tied back and left in other solitary confinement cells. The verbal protests increased and various prisoners started hunger strikes. There were more than 60 prisoners refusing food in a form of protest against the impunity enjoyed by soldiers and guards. The tortured captives were taken out of their dungeons and sent to isolated cells where they handcuffed once again.
It is important to point out the personality of the guard Julio Garcia Torres- ‘The Delegate’. This functionary from the Order of the Interior in Kilo 8 Prison was previously delegate of the Popular Power sector in Mias, a municipality of Camaguey. He is one of the most cruel uniformed officials who carry out a series of torture methods against defenseless prisoners. The Cuban government is well aware of such cases.
The Cuban regime promotes human rights in the internal issues of other countries while they hide their countless crimes, tortures, and acts of terror. Reyneiro is serving a 60 year sentence, as he is accused of assassinating two members of the Communist Party of Cuba. Yasmany Pomares is serving 4 years for a case of evasion.
Jorge Félix Otero Morales
Human Rights Defender, Camaguey
January 17th, 2012