US condemns detention of Cuban Human Rights defender José Daniel Ferrer

Sunday, October 20, 2019

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WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) – The administration of US President Donald Trump has strongly condemned what it described as the Cuban government's “unconscionable detainment” of human rights defender José Daniel Ferrer, founder of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU).

“We call on the Castro regime to immediately disclose Mr Ferrer's location and condition, to treat him humanely and to release him from detention without condition,” said US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo in a statement on Friday.

Pompeo said that Cuban Government officials, on October 1, detained Ferrer and several other human rights defenders in Santiago de Cuba.

“Mr Ferrer reportedly has still not been informed of any charges against him, and has been denied access to a lawyer and to medical care,” Pompeo said, adding that Ferrer's family has not been permitted contact with him since October 4.

The US Secretary of State said fellow UNPACU activists Roilan Zarraga Ferrer, José Pupo Chaveco and Fernando González Vailant also remain in custody.

“José Daniel Ferrer's case is one more example of the Castro regime's continuous and flagrant violation of human rights, which has recently escalated into a wave of repression against freedoms of speech, expression, and religion.”

Pompeo said:  “The United States will not allow these abuses against the Cuban people to go unnoticed or unanswered.

“We will continue to increase sanctions and trade restrictions to diminish the resources available to the Cuban regime, which uses its income to suppress its own citizens and to prop up other regimes with shameful human rights records, including the former Maduro regime in Venezuela,” he added.


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