CUBAN DOCTOR AND PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE, DR. JOSE LUIS GARCIA PANEQUE,
IS BRUTALLY BEATEN BY A CRIMINAL INMATE
Coalition of Cuban-American Women
Cuba, August 28, 2007. On Tuesday, August 28, 2007, during the evening
count of inmates in the Prison of Las Mangas in Bayamo, Cuba, political
prisoner, José Luis García Paneque, was threatened and physically
attacked by a common prisoner from another post.
According to Moralinda Paneque Mártinez, mother of the prisoner of
conscience, a common criminal threatened her son during the August 28th
afternoon count of prisoners. The thug shouted, "Hey you! Get up….!"
When the Cuban doctor answered the inmate that he did not take orders
from other prisoners, the inmate left and returned that same night
during the evening count, confronting Dr. García Paneque again. "…I've
come back so you can tell me again what you said this afternoon…" Before
Dr. García Paneque could finish giving him the same response, the inmate
attacked Dr. García Paneque and punched him so hard that the doctor fell
to the floor with a wound above the left eyebrow.
Dr. García Paneque had to be taken to the Prisoners' Ward of Carlos
Manuel de Céspedes Hospital in Bayamo. It took four stitches to close
the wound. Last June, in this same hospital, Dr. García Paneque was
admitted and diagnosed with a kidney tumor and pneumonia. His body
weight is just over 100 lbs. (48 kilos), and he suffers from Intestinal
Mal Absorption Syndrome, a condition that causes chronic bouts of
diarrhea and bleeding colitis.
Something unusual occurred on the evening of August 29th, however. An
agent from State Security went to visit Moralinda Paneque around dusk to
explain to her that her son's wound was swollen but that he was "OK."
It has been a common practice of the Cuban prison authorities to confine
political prisoners along side violent common criminals as a method of
physical and mental torture. Cuban State Security constantly offers
privileges to common criminals provided that they provoke, attack, and
humiliate, political prisoners in Cuba.
Dr. García Paneque was arrested on March 18, 2007, and sentenced to 24
years in jail during the wave of repression that the Cuban government
carried out against members of the civil society who were promoting
independent ideas on the island.
Dr. García Paneque's family makes an urgent call to the international
community since they fear for the safety and the physical and
psychological health of this Cuban doctor who is unjustly confined in a
maximum-security prison for defending the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights in his own country.
Information obtainied from Mrs. Moralinda Paneque via telephone from Las
Tunas, Cuba by the Coalition of Cuban-American Women / LAIDA CARRO –
Email: email@example.com / FAX: 305-740-7323
Translation into English: The Coalition of Cuban-American Women / TANYA
WILDER / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org