On Friday, the United States expressed concern that the Cuban government had treated dissident artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara “with dignity and respect”, who was admitted without contact for nearly three weeks in a Havana hospital, while Amnesty International declared him a “prisoner of conscience.” .
“We ask that @ LMOAlcántara and all Cubans be respected and treated with dignity,” the US Embassy in Havana said on Twitter.
He added that Washington “has expressed its solidarity with the Cuban people and its concern over the government’s treatment of them with dignity and respect.”
“How can a hospital patient not have the right to visit or phone?”
The Cuban government accuses Otero Alcantara, 33, of attempting to manipulate the political situation, financed and administered by the American Research Foundation, the National Democratic Institute.
Otero Alcantara, a member of the protest movement Movimento San Isidro (MSI), a group of opposition university artists, was transferred on 2 May to a hospital in Havana on the eighth day of her hunger strike.
In that protest, he demanded the restoration of the work that the security men had stripped him of, and he demanded an end to police harassment and artistic freedom.
By declaring Otero Alcantara a “prisoner of conscience” for the third time this Friday, Amnesty International urged “President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez and other Cuban authorities to release him,” in a statement posted on the organization’s website.
Amnesty International’s Director for the Americas, Erica Guevara, said that the dissident artist was “deprived of his freedom simply for peacefully expressing himself and he must be released immediately and unconditionally.”
The NGO denounced that since his transfer to the hospital, the artist has been “under the supervision or control of state security officials and severely restricted visits from his immediate relatives.”
He added, “It does not seem that he has access to his phone or the outside world.”
Amnesty had already summoned Otero’s supporters on Thursday to write a letter to Diaz-Canel demanding his release.
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