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Report: Political Prisoners Are Tortured In Cuban Prisons

The Cubalex legal platform documented the use of the torture technique known as “the bicycle” in Cuban prisons, through the testimony of several political prisoners.

The type of torture known as “the bicycle” consists of “handcuffing the inmates and throwing them down the stairs,” as explained by the organization in a publication this Thursday on its Facebook profile, where they have been describing, in recent days, some of the forms of torture used in the country’s prisons.

According to Cubalex, the political prisoners Félix Navarro, Lázaro Díaz, José Rolando Casares, Maykel Castillo, Danilo Maldonado, José Díaz Silva and Yunisbel Valido said they were aware of this method of torture used in the Combinado del Este and Valle Grande prisons ( Havana), Agüica (Matanzas), Guajamal (Villa Clara) and Kilometer 5½ (Pinar del Río). Some were able to identify her by name, while others recognized her, but without naming her specifically.

José Rolando Casares confirmed the application of this form of torture in Pinar del Río, although he said that in the prison of that province what was known as a “bicycle” consisted of handcuffing the inmate with his hands glued to his ankles.

Political prisoner Danilo Maldonado, for his part, also confirmed the use of this technique, although, according to his testimony, what is known as a “bicycle” in the Valle Grande prison is the practice of handcuffing inmates with the hands behind his back and two guards grab him by the foot and drag him running (either on smooth surface or up stairs) until he reaches a place where other officers are hitting him as a group with the tonfas.

According to Cubalex’s summary, Maykel Castillo also said she witnessed handcuffed people being thrown down the stairs at the Guajamal prison in Villa Clara, and Yunisbel Valido confirmed that in the same prison handcuffed inmates were thrown from a four-meter-high ladder. height that went up to the prison and, when they reached the bottom, they kept hitting them.

However, for Castillo and Alcibíades Idelmaro Brizuela “the bicycle” refers to a form of transfer in which the inmate is handcuffed with his hands behind his back, then the guard passes his hand through the prisoner’s arms and grabs him. by the neck, forcing him to walk bent over and practically on tiptoe. This same form of transfer was identified by Valido as “the wheelbarrow”.

Finally, Cubalex points out that, according to Castillo’s account, there is a much more violent variant of the technique known as “the bicycle”, in which some inmates have even lost their lives.

This is a method whereby some of the people who are thrown down the stairs in handcuffs are then thrown up the steps while being punched, kicked and stepped on the head.

A few days ago, this organization made public numerous testimonies of torture of political prisoners in Cuban prisons using handcuffs.

One of the documented techniques, according to the testimony of several prisoners, is called “hanging handcuffs”, a form of torture that “consists of handcuffing the inmate by one arm and the other handcuffing her from a high place, so that the limb is suspended and in a position where the person cannot sit. In that position they leave the prisoner for long periods of time that can even reach 24 hours or more.

At the end of April, Cubalex presented, together with 13 other Cuban and international organizations, a report before the United Nations Committee Against Torture, in which it identified 14 methods of torture and cruel treatment against dissidents in Cuba, which violate international standards. international human rights.

Among the forms systematized in the report are acts of repudiation, the use of pepper spray, exposure to high temperatures and forced nudity for body search.

This Thursday there was also news, thanks to the testimony of the political prisoner Pedro Albert Sánchez, of beatings of two prisoners, on May 8, in the Valle Grande prison, in Havana.

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José Martí
José Martí
Nacionalista cubano, poeta, filósofo, ensayista, periodista, traductor, profesor y editor.

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