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    Briefing Note No. 3 Cuban League against AIDS

    Briefing Note No. 3 Cuban League against AIDS / Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio

    Estrada

    Translator: Unstated, Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada

    During the month of June and the first days of of July The Cuban League

    Against AIDS has monitored the rise of protests in Cuban jails for

    inmates with HIV / AIDS.

    The protests show the dissatisfaction by the Cuban prison population

    affected by this disease. The affected prison population at the time of

    writing this note exceeds the number of 700 inmates in six prisons

    scattered to carry out their sentences.

    For those unfamiliar with the Cuban issue of Prisons for Inmates with

    HIV / AIDS, we recall that in the mid 90's there was only a prison on

    the island for this purpose located in the city of Santa Clara.

    Subsequently the Department of Corrections was forced to increase that

    due to the steady increase of the disease in the Cuban prison

    population, and so opened new prisons, to date a total of six.

    Recent protests have taken place in prisons in Santiago de Cuba,

    Holguin, Santa Clara and San Jose in the former province of Havana. The

    incidents reported in many cases by the people themselves, which

    reflects the uneasiness of those who in spite of what they live through

    await an improvement in these prison by the Cuban regime.

    Hunger strikes, self-harm, attempted escapes, prison disorder, failure

    to return from passes, negativity toward wearing the uniform, are some

    of the actions carried out by those seeking to end the existing deficit

    in these prisons of drugs, food, and the constant violations of human

    rights, to put an end to cruel inhuman and degrading treatment of the

    doubly confined in punishment cells, and the very little required to

    make these prisoners the objects of constant beatings by their jailers.

    Accordingly the Cuban League Against AIDS has been able to show,

    recently, that such incidents have increased in the Prison of San Jose

    where a prisoner was unexpectedly submerged unclothed in an elevated

    tank of water. Carrying a sign asking for food, medicines, and demanding

    the release of prisoners with HIV / AIDS. The name of the prisoner who

    performed this act of disobedience in unknown, but we are aware that

    remained protesting all day until the evening after having been made to

    drink a bottle of soda with sedative tablets caused him to fell asleep

    on the heights of which was lowered with military aid and a crane.

    The most recent incident was staged in the same prison by a dozen

    females, who rejected all kinds of food for more than three consecutive

    days, demanding to spend an hour in the sun with their husbands or

    fiancés adding to this demand the necessary improvements in the prison

    system.

    The Cuban penal population affected by this disease most commonly is

    serving sentences for common causes such as theft, burglary, theft and

    slaughter of cattle, being in a state of dangerousness, and for the

    alleged crime of spreading an epidemic which in many cases is unproven.

    For over 75% of the Cuban prison population with HIV / AIDS the main

    route of infection is self-administered injections. This mode of

    transmission is not recognized by government agencies trying to hide one

    of the realities which has been known for years.

    The Cuban League Against AIDS organization monitors the island and calls

    for respect for human rights applied to the carriers of this disease. It

    sends a warning call to all international organizations to demand that

    Havana:

    - Improve the prison system for inmates sick with HIV / AIDS.

    - Immediately release those prisoners with terminal illness.

    - Suspend of the use of solitary confinement in punishment cells.

    - Medical Improvements and Maintenance.

    - A thorough investigation to clarify the use of self-injection as a

    means of infection.

    The Cuban League Against AIDS from this note is beginning a new campaign

    for the Cuban prison population with HIV / AIDS which will end on

    December 1st of this year as part of commemoration of World Day of

    Solidarity with Persons with HIV / AIDS.

    The campaign will be taken to each province for the sole purpose of not

    stopping the right to health at the doors of Cuban jails.

    Accompanying this note is the original poster of this campaign.

    Ignacio Estrada Cepero

    July 9 2012

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