EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 25/17/93
3 December 1993
Further information on UA 247/93 (AMR 25/06/93, 30 July 1993) - Prisoner of
Conscience/Health Concern/Fear of Ill-treatment
CUBA:Luis Alberto PITA SANTOS (aged 46), prisoner of conscience
Jesús CHAMBES RAMIREZ, probable prisoner of conscience
Amnesty International continues to be concerned for the well-being of prisoner
of conscience Luis Alberto Pita Santos, who is held in the Prisión Especial
de Máxima Seguridad de Camagüey, Camagüey Special High Security Prison, known
as "Kilo 8".
His wife was reportedly able to visit him in mid-November for the first time
in eight months. Visits had previously been suspended because he had declared
himself to be "plantado" - a form of protest in which political prisoners refuse
to wear the uniform worn by common prisoners and to obey prison discipline
in other ways. He had also undertaken several hunger strikes.
It is not clear whether the fact that he was allowed a visit means that he
has stopped his protest. However, his food rations have been increased and
he is allowed to spend time in the prison grounds. It is not known whether
he is receiving medical attention. He is said to be extremely thin, weighing
between 80 and 90 pounds, and his state of health was described by a prison
official as delicate. He is said to have told his wife that he has been subjected
to various kinds of pressure by prison officials, including beatings, in order
to force him to give up his protest. He was also said to have been chained
for long periods to the bars of his cell and to have been denied medical
treatment. In April 1993 he was injured after a prison official lifted him
into the air several times letting him fall to the ground in an attempt to
make him put on his uniform and in May he was said to have been handcuffed
and chained by the ankles for up to sixteen hours a day.
Luis Alberto Pita Santos was arrested on 9 October 1991 and is serving a five-year
sentence for desacato, disrespect, asociación ilícita, illegal association,
and clandestinidad de impresos, clandestine printing. He is a former university
professor and the president of the unofficial Asociación Defensora de los
Derechos Políticos (ADDEPO), Association for the Defence of Political Rights.
Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience detained
solely on account of his peaceful and legitimate political activities and
believes that he should be immediately and unconditionally released.
There is no further news of Jesús Chambes (possibly Chamber) Ramírez, who was
also reported in May to be held in chains, together with Luis Alberto Pita
Santos, in "Kilo 8". Chambes is also said to be a member of ADDEPO and to
be serving a ten-year sentence for "enemy propaganda". No further action is
required on his behalf at present.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and
airmail letters either in Spanish, English or in your own language:
- urging the immediate and unconditional release of Luis Alberto Pita Santos
on the grounds that he is a prisoner of conscience detained solely because
of his non-violent political beliefs;
- urging that his physical integrity be guaranteed while in detention and that