July 17, 2017

Urgent Action Victory! Defenders End Strike, Release Secured (Cuba: UA 76.17)


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Siblings and human rights defenders Anairis Miranda Leyva, Adairis Miranda Leyva and Fidel Manuel Batista Leyva ended the hunger strike they began on 8 June after being harassed and intimidated in Cuba following their conditional release from prison.

On 3 July, twin sisters Anairis Miranda Leyva and Adairis Miranda Leyva, and their brother, Fidel Manuel Batista Leyva, gave up on the hunger strike they originally carried out to protest the harassment and intimidation they faced, and the threat of having their conditional liberty revoked.

Their mother, Maydolis Portelles, told Amnesty International that on 3 July she was summoned to appear before the municipal court and a grouping of judges, public prosecutors, and state security force officials. She stated that she was allowed to see a document, but not given a copy, which among other things, set out that her children would not have their conditional release revoked. Although Anairis Miranda Leyva is still in need of medical care, the three siblings abandoned their hunger strike that same day.

The family of four human rights defenders were arrested on 27 November 2016, two days after the death of Fidel Castro. The three siblings were given a one-year sentence for “defamation of institutions, organizations and heroes and martyrs of the Republic of Cuba” and “public disorder” for allegedly leaving their house during the period of state mourning following Fidel Castro’s death. On 2 April, after a prolonged hunger-strike, the three siblings were released under conditional release (licencia extrapenal). This form of conditional release means that charges are not dropped but that those convicted are allowed to spend the remainder of their sentences outside prison.

On 8 June, the three siblings reported to have begun a hunger strike to protest their harassment and intimidation and to seek the quashing of the sentences against all four members of their family.

No further action is required of the UA Network at this time. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.

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