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'THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT HAS TORTURED ME DURING EIGHT YEARS…TRYING TO DRIVE ME INSANE… '

Testimony of prisoner of conscience, Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet, from the Prison of Combinado del Este in Havana, Cuba


"PRISON CONDITIONS
The government of Cuba has tortured me during eight years; they have done so trying to drive me insane though, thank God, I have been able to preserve my sanity… in reality, they continue torturing me because I live in a box with no windows or natural light, no water…with a mattress that feels as if one were sleeping on a plank, a stone… unfit for a human being … surrounded by criminals and under the threat, as it has happened on previous occasions, of being attacked by the government who instigates these dangerous prisoners…

I believe that what the government is doing is torturing me to humiliate me so that I abandon the struggle on behalf of the freedom of my country but, thank God, I have been able to keep up my stance and will continue doing so with God’s help…

SYMBOLIC FAST AS OF JULY 13, 2006
We began this fast (in prison) because I believe we should pray to God and demand our rights before the government, the right to be free which belongs to every person just for being a citizen. Our country has lived so long without any rights, under a dictatorship…I believe that we must demand rights that belong to us and, in everyone’s interest, these liberties must be observed... In order to live a full life, it is essential to live in freedom and the Cuban people are denied these rights… that is why I’m initiating a fast along with other brothers (in prison) to demand that the government sign the international covenants of civil, political, economic, cultural and social rights – the Cuban regime must sign them and abide by them so that the Cuban people may live in freedom at last….

MESSAGE TO THE CUBAN PEOPLE

The Cuban people must do their utmost in their struggle to win their freedom and succeed in obtaining the international support of all free and democratic countries. I trust that the Cuban people prove their dignity as they have done so on other occasions, so that we may enjoy FREEDOM..

Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet, 45 years old, is an internal medicine specialist of the black race who established and presides in Cuba the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights, an organization that promotes universal human rights through non-violent civil disobedience. He was released October 31, 2002, after serving a three-year sentence at a maximum-security prison 700 km. away from his home. He was violently arrested thirty-six days later and remained in prison until March-April, 2003, when he was included in a crackdown carried out by the Cuban regime against the independent civil rights movement in the island. He was tried summarily and sentenced to serve 25 years in prison, accused of being 'a mercenary at the service of a foreign state'. He continues to suffer the cruel prison conditions he has been exposed to during eight years, which have seriously deteriorated his physical health.


On July 17, 2006, Amado Gil, a journalist in Radio MartI, was able to speak with Dr. Biscet in Cuba thanks to the intercession of an independent journalist in Havana who, beyond governmental control, used the limited time allotted to Dr. Biscet to make telephone calls from prison.

(Listen audio – in Spanish – of the entire interview:

http://www.martinoticias.com/ocbstory.asp?MediaID=37276

The Coalition of Cuban-American Women transcribed, edited and translated to English the interview

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