‘Rap is its voice and its resistance’: Amnesty International calls for action to free Maikel Osorbo

Amnesty International did call to act demanding the freedom and safety of the rapper and Cuban political prisoner Maikel Castillo “Osorbo”, who turned 40 on August 20. “Rap is your voice and your resistance,” Amnesty said of one of the singers and composers of the anthem “Patria y Vida” Anti-government protests in Cuba.

“Act demanding the safety and freedom of Miguel Diaz-Canel.”the organization asked. The rebellious artist was sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of insulting the symbols of the Motherland, disrespectslander against institutions and organizations, as well as heroes and martyrs, attacks, resistance and public disorder.

On August 1, Amnesty International launched an “urgent action” demanding that the Cuban regime release Osorbo, who has been imprisoned since May 18, 2021: “Mikel Castillo Pérez (…) is Cuban musician and prisoner of conscience suffering from harassment and constant arbitrary arrests. May 18, 2021 state security agents He was arrested at his house.

In June 2022, he was sentenced to nine years in prison. “Since April 2023 there is mereports that he received threats from other prisoners in the area where he is being held, and the Cuban authorities do not guarantee their safety,” the organization said.

Amnesty International also requested that this complaint be dealt with directly. to the Cuban authorities through a letter, a sample of which he shared on his website.

Following the results of two prizes received song “Patria y Vida” at the Latin Grammyofficial newspaper Granma published a memo from press secretary Pedro de la Osa who insisted that the song was part of an alleged “soft coup” against the revolution and tried to disqualify its composers.

On the other hand, activist Oscar Sanchez Madan, ideological coordinator of the National Council of the United Anti-Totalitarian Forum (FANTU)Following his recent release from prison, he denounced the prison conditions in which prisoners in Combinado del Sur, Matanzasespecially those who are imprisoned for political reasons.

“It is well known that the number of prisoners in Cuba is one of the largest in the hemisphere; taking into account the number of inhabitants, this is undoubtedly a consequence of the repressive, repressive and totalitarian nature of the communist regime“, spiky fanta on twitter.

In his testimony, presented in a video posted by FANTU on social media, Sanchez Madan condemned overcrowding as “something permanent” in prison. “These were cells for eight prisoners, and in the end we were left with 17, a very small room that violates all the rules,” he added.

He explained that due to lack of space, “more than half of the prisoners had to sleep on the floor”, suffering from bedbug and mosquito bites. He also told that when was the dengue epidemic They did not provide mosquito nets and many prisoners ended up contracting the disease.

He also condemned “physical and verbal abuse” that the guards use against inmates, and claim that in most cases this is “unfounded”. He said officers beat prisoners “almost every day.” They “verbally abuse the parents” of the prisoners to incite them to riot, “and then beat them there,” he added.

He also mentioned “missing medicines” and elaborated that there were no painkillersand there were no antidepressants, antihistamines, and access to medical care.

“For three months I was infected with scabies, which made me unable to sleep, due to severe itching I protested, but nothing was decided until prisoner Yandi Ruiz Martinez a young man from Cárdenas who protested on 11 Julyhe, through his family, brought me a bottle of permethrin, and so I was able to fight scabies,” he said.

The regime denies the existence of political prisoners in Cuba and tried several times to sell the idea that life in Cuban prisons is in good conditions through audiovisual material presented by government representatives such as Humberto López.

In 2016 Raul Castro at a press conference with US President Barack Obama, at the end of the historic meeting in Havana, was annoyed by a question CNN journalist Jim Acosta asked him about it. Castro responded defiantly:give me a list of political prisoners right now so that they can be released. Remind me now, what kind of political prisoners?

At that time the list of political prisoners numbered several dozen, but in recent years it has multiplied, especially after the protests of July 11, 2021, and the authorities continue to ignore it. In July, the Cuban regime imprisoned 14 people for political reasons. This brings the number of political prisoners on the island to 1,047, according to the latest report from the non-governmental organization (NGO) Prisoners Defenders.

More recently, the ruler Miguel Diaz-Canel denied the existence of political prisoners in Cuba when he participated in a meeting with members of the pro-Castro “Pastors’ Caravan for Peace”. “There are no political prisoners in Cuba,” he said.

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