Michel Martinez, a Cuban who was unjustly imprisoned, has been released thanks to Solidarity

Michel Martinez Perez

After a year and a half in prison, after he was accused (without proof) of “sacrificing a cow” (in other words, of having killed a cow) and sentenced to 10 years, the Matanzas resident Michel Martinez Perez has been released on the night of Thursday, March 14th, according to a report by former political prisoner of conscience Ivan Hernandez Carrillo on his Twitter account (@ivanlibre).  Hernandez added that the liberation of Martinez is all thanks to the solidarity which he received on behalf of people inside and outside of Cuba, as well as the pressure generated against the regime.

Seeing as the authorities had refused to re-open his case, Michel Martinez Perez carried out various hunger strikes to defend his innocence, which put his life at risk each time.  The most recent lasted more than 40 days and ended in December of 2012.  His mother, Lazara Perez, turned to human rights activists in the province of Matanzas, especially Ivan Hernandez, to denounce her son’s case after all governmental institutions she had visited refused to offer her assistance, despite her persistence.  The dissidents responded by spreading all the details of the situation through Twitter, audios, and written reports.  This was quickly re-posted outside of Cuba through diverse media outlets, especially independent blogs and through other social networks.

“Michel called me on the phone as soon as he got to his house.  He greatly appreciates all the voices which rose in his favor”, read one tweet by Hernandez Carrillo.  Another said “in the name of Michel, I thank all those exiled Cubans who contributed with their denouncements for his freedom”.

It has been proven once again that solidarity with those who are persecuted in the island and pressure against the regime does, in fact, work.  Thanks to this, a mother can now embrace her son and have him home again, without worrying that his life runs danger in a dungeon because of something he did not do.


Michel Martinez, a Cuban who was unjustly imprisoned, has been released thanks to Solidarity

Michel Martinez, unjustly imprisoned, suspends his hunger strike

Michel Martinez Perez

Human rights activist and former political prisoner of conscience Ivan Hernandez Carrillo announced this past weekend that Michel Martinez Perez, Cuban citizen from Matanzas province who was unjustly jailed in August 2011 under accusations of “theft and sacrifice of a cow” but without any proof, has suspended his hunger strike, which lasted more than 46 days. The suspension of the strike came after prison authorities assured Michel that they have sent his case to the Supreme Tribunal for “revision”.

Lazara Perez, mother of Michel Martinez Perez, appreciates all the people who have displayed solidarity with the very difficult situation of her son“, read another tweet by Ivan Hernandez (@ivanlibre) published on December 9th. Mrs. Perez- as expected from any mother- has suffered greatly with the incarceration of her son and has demanded numerous communist functionaries to revise his case, to free him, and treat him humanely while in prison, denouncing that on many occasions he has been beat and kept in inhumane conditions and in dark punishment cells. During the last few weeks of his most recent hunger strike, Lazara has been denied her right to visit Michel in prison, despite the fact that she has had to travel long distances to do so.

If the authorities do not comply with the promise, Michel Martinez has left it very clear that he will “retake his hunger strike to prove his innocence“, according to another tweet by Hernandez Carrillo.

Although the news of the cancelation of the strike is good, Michel Martinez Perez is still unjustly behind bars. Various human rights activists in Matanzas have echoed his situation and have been the ones denouncing the case on a national and international level.

Michel Martinez, unjustly imprisoned, suspends his hunger strike

Regime continues denying mother the right to see her unjustly jailed and hunger striking son

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

Regime continues denying mother the right to see her unjustly jailed and hunger striking son

Mother asks for help from international community for her unjustly jailed son

The following report has been put together by a friend of this blog: human rights activist Maria Camas. You can follow her on Twitter for more fresh news about Cuba: @mspianoteacher.

Lazara Martin Pérez is the mother of two young men which the Castro tyranny is bent on keeping jailed in the most inhumane conditions possible. One of her sons is Michel Martinez Perez, who has been tortured in different forms, all the way from constant interrogations, being confined for hours in rooms with very cold air after having been stripped of his clothing and having been soaked with buckets of icy water, to having him confined in sealed-off punishment cells for weeks, only accompanied by rodents and roaches. He has not even had a blanket or mattress to spend his seemingly endless days and nights.

Michel Martínez Pérez has been on hunger strike since last Octobter 5th. Because of this protest, the authorities of the Combinado del Sur Prison of Matanzas decided to send him to Aguica Prison so he could carry out his strike while closed off in a horrid punishment cell, isolated from any sort of human contact, while the authorities have showed less than minimal interest in his health, and in sum, his life. This is not the first time which Michel has declared himself on hunger strike. In addition, he has been transferred from one prison to another. Michel has passed through the Department of Technical Investigations of Matanzas, by the penitentiary of Canaletas, by Combinado del Sur, and has now been locked up in a punishment cell of Aguica, a prison notorious for abuses against all prisoners, whether they be “political” or “common”.

In her desperation, Lazara Martin Perez has called on the international community to please join her in solidarity so that, any person of goodwill, exert enough pressure over the regime to keep her son from dying on hunger strike, a protest which he has taken on to prove his innocence.

The communist regime of the Castros is accusing Michel of “stealing” and “killing” a cow. In other words, the regime is accusing the young man for suspecting that he has killed a cow to feed his family. This is a crime which Michel has denied through 5 hunger strikes.

Putting the ridiculous reality of Cuba aside, where innocent citizens are sent to prison for 10 years for killing an animal and eating it, we must keep in mind that the regime placed Michel behind bars since they detained him on October 5th 2011, before they had even carried out a fair trial against him. Once the trial took place, despite the fact that there was no proof against Michel, he was sentenced.

The following audio (in Spanish) is of Lazara. It is the voice of a worried mother, asking for actions of solidarity so that this crime of the Castro dictatorship is halted. It is courtesy of former political prisoner of conscience Ivan Hernandez Carrillo.

In the clip, Lazara explains, for example, that Lieutenant Colonel Mederes, the Chief of Prisons in Matanzas, has not even met with her. This same person promised Michel Martinez Perez on August 2nd 2012 that he would “solve the situation” if he stopped the hunger strike. Evidently, the agent lied then and continues lying now.

Also, she narrates the fiscal Jesus Dario Ortega, from the town of Alacranes, sent Michel to prison while he worked in the Union de Reyes unit. Currently, the mentioned official has retired. It seems that he already executed his unjust duty.

Lazara Martin Pérez lives in Unión de Reyes, Matanzas

General Betancourt Street #37 between Máximo Gómez and Antonio Maceo.

Unfortunately, Martin doesn’t not have a phone. She has sought the help of dissidents in the city of Colon. These dissidents have replied and have been spreading the word on Michel Martinez Perez.

For more information from Cuba: +011-5352- 599-366, phone number of Iván Hernández Carrillo.

Mother asks for help from international community for her unjustly jailed son