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Cuban Repression And Prison Beatings
Wednesday, October 19, 2005   By: Juan Paxety

Political prisoners beaten by guards

From Net For Cuba

Prisoner of Conscience, Virgilio Mantilla Arango, Savagely Beaten in Kilo 9 Prison in Camagüey

October 17, 2005

In a telephone call to the Cuban Foundation of Human Rights, Conrado Galindo Sariol, a prisoner and member of the dissident movement, reported that a large number of military personnel in Kilo 9 Prison in Camagüey dealt political prisoner, Virgilio Mantilla Arango, a horrendous beating.

The act happened in a place known as “El Chinchorro” (“The Hammock”) during the afternoon hours of October 17th after Mantilla Arango declared himself in rebellion and scattered leaflets in the central hallway of the prison area where he is located. Virgilio is protesting the subhuman conditions in which the prisoners live and that his rights as a prisoner are not being recognized. Several days ago, he placed posters above his bed that said, “Down with Fidel” and “We Need Freedom”.

Virgilio Mantilla Arango, 35, is serving a 7-year prison sentence. He was condemned on March 4, 2002, in the trial of the blind lawyer, Juan Carlos González Leiva.

Reported from Ciego de Avila, Luis Esteban Espinosa, an independent journalist.


“The Cuban Foundation of Human Rights and particularly, I, Juan Carlos González Leiva as its president, are dismayed by these brutal beatings that the Cuban government is dealing to prisoners of conscience, as in the case of Virgilio Mantilla Arango, as well as to independent journalists, as was the case of Guillermo Fariñas in Santa Clara, and a group of defenders of human rights last Friday, October 14, 2005, some of whose bones were fractured by governmental mobs.

This is a very clear sign of the savagery, misrule, and disorder to which the current regime is taking this country: taking crime, cruelty, and chaos to the people and violating the Integration Treaty (Pact) of the United Nations.

We are going to make this matter known even if we have to go to jail or if they kill us. We are not going to continue witnessing these crimes with our hands folded.

Virgilio Mantilla is a young black man who has been tied to the bars of a prison cell and who has been beaten by more than 30 military men with clubs. At this very moment, several prisoners that have called us from Kilo 9 Prison suspect that Virgilio has been moved to the Provincial Hospital in Camagüey since he could not remain in prison in the poor physical state in which they left him.”

President of the Cuban Foundation of Human Rights
October 17, 2005

Testimony obtained via telephone from Cuba by the Coalition of Cuban-American Women/LAIDA CARRO/Email: [email protected] Tel: 305-6625947 / Translation: Tanya S. Wilder / Human Rights Committee / Coalition of Cuban-American Women

We have to read these stories as they are smuggled out of the country by brave independent journalists. The world meida, however, spends its airtime and ink on the most humane prison on the island, Gitmo.


(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren