Press Release

IACHR Urges State of Cuba to Comply with Precautionary Measures in Favor of José Daniel Ferrer García

December 17, 2019

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) urges the State of Cuba to comply with the precautionary measures adopted on November 5, 2012 in favor of José Daniel Ferrer García, a member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU, by its Spanish acronym). At the time, the IACHR assessed the conditions of his detention and the threats he was repeatedly subjected to by security guards.

According to recent reports, Mr. Ferrer was again arrested on October 1, 2019, along with other members of UNPACU. Also that day, his home was raided, as were other facilities used by the organization he leads. According to these reports, the aim of those raids was to incriminate the beneficiary. On October 10, 2019, his family was informed that the public prosecutor’s office had imposed pretrial detention on Mr. Ferrer and taken him to the Aguadores prison, in Santiago de Cuba.
The family denounced serious difficulties to visit the beneficiary following his arrest. On October 29, 2019, the United Nations’ Committee on Enforced Disappearances demanded urgent action from the State, so all necessary measures would be adopted to locate Mr. Ferrer and to protect his life and personal integrity.

Following a visit on November 7, 2019, the beneficiary was reported to be suffering from health issues and to be held in a punishment cell with an inmate with an extensive criminal, aggressive record who hit him every time Mr. Ferrer spoke up to protest or to demand medical care. On November 28, 2019, the European Parliament condemned Mr. Ferrer’s arrest, demanded his release, and asked for him to be granted access to a lawyer, to be allowed to contact his family, and to be informed about the reasons for his detention.

After being informed of the beneficiary’s situation, the IACHR again asked the State for information. The State has failed to provide any details about the implementation of precautionary measures for as long as these have been in force. The IACHR stresses that the State of Cuba must take any measures necessary to protect the life and personal integrity of José Daniel Ferrer García, to agree with the beneficiary and his representatives on any measures that need to be adopted, and to report on any action taken to investigate the events that led to the adoption of precautionary measures.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 326/19