José Luis Hernández is the most recent prisoner to commit suicide in a Cuban jail. His case made it known in his networks the legal organization Cubalex two days ago, but his death occurred on July 15, in the Kilo 5 y Medio prison, in Pinar del Río.
According to Cubalex, the complaint was made by his brother, also in prison. Hernández was serving a 25-year sentence and was “transferred to a less severe regime,” according to the NGO, which has not provided further details in this regard.
“We remind the authorities that it is a death in custody,” Cubalex said via Twitter, warning that the Ministry of the Interior, the Prosecutor’s Office and the judges are responsible “for everything that happens to the inmates.”
Likewise, they return to denounce, as they have done in some previous reports, “the living conditions and abuses have led many to this situation”, which includes not having a “prevention system or psychological or psychiatric assistance”. In its thread, the NGO requests that an investigation be opened.
It was, Justice 11J pointed out, the fifth death “in State custody” documented during 2023, three of them, in prisons
The poor sanitary conditions, abuse, torture and suicide in Cuban prisons have been frequently denounced by independent organizations.
Last June, the Justice 11J platform echoed the death in prison by Carlos Lopez Lopez, in the Combinado del Este, in Havana. The organization was unaware of the crime for which he was convicted, but said the complaint stated that the 22-year-old “died due to medical neglect.”
It was, Justice 11J pointed out, the fifth death “in State custody” documented during 2023, three of them, in prisons. One of these was the suicide of Raidel Montalvo, last March, “made possible by the carelessness of the guards” of the Combinado del Este. Another, in mid-April, that of Franklin Domínguez, who hanged himself after arguing with the guards at the El Típico prison in Las Tunas, who denied him medical assistance.
The organization Archivo Cuba, in a report published on July 10, included the death “in custody” of five prisoners since July 2021, the date of the historic mass protests on the island. They are the activist Alfonso Chaviano Peláez, in May 2022; Exduyn Urgellés Huete, unfairly accused of having stolen a gold chain, in October 2022; Kevin Canlo Morales, in March 2023, beaten by the deputy director of the prison; Jamaican Christopher O’Brien Bernard, 43, and Ulices Claro Peña, 32, also for beatings, in November 2022, at the hands of prison guards from the Kilo 8 prison, Camagüey. Regarding the latter, the NGO adds that her mother “believes that her organs were removed, since she did an autopsy without permission from the family.”
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