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Open Letter to the International Community, Physicians,
and Non-governmental Human Rights Organizations

“ It is very difficult for common prisoners to serve a prison sentence; all the more so for a man of peace confined for exercising his right to freedom of thought. Everything has been so excessive and arbitrary that, the tribunal that condemned me, did not pronounce sentence until three days after the trial had concluded. At that moment I felt their disloyalty to justice. I am convinced today of the fear they felt when they convicted an innocent man and put him to live with the scum of society. During all these years in prison I have witnessed ignominious things that I cannot go into the details of due to their perversity; acts that threaten the decorous behavior of a civilized society. In spite of the difficult situation, I am not frightened nor will I go back a step in regards to my ideas. I am here by my own free will to condemn and not to retract myself and will serve this unjust sentence until God in the Highest puts an end to it.. Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet, January 23, 2007. (Fragments of a letter written to wife Elsa Morejón, which she received on February 9, 2007)

Prison Conditions: Dr. Biscet continues confined in the maximum security Prison Combinado del Este in Havana (building # 1, 2nd floor, South Wing, prison cell # 1232), being subjected to the harshest prison conditions since March 2003, where family visits are allowed every 3 months for 2 hours and conjugal visits are allowed every 4 months for 3 hours. The prison cell where he is forced to live is unfit for long term confinements, where no human being would escape illness: full of humidity, whitewashed walls, lacking a mattress, no light nor ventilation or a chair to sit on, in addition to: excessive noise, little privacy, restricted family contact, hostile environment, as well as other factors that place at high risk his health and life.

Health Conditions: Total deterioration of his dental health. He suffers recurring infections treated with antibiotics and painkillers, and symptoms of high blood pressure, a condition Dr. Biscet has endured for many years that is treated with atenolol and tablets of clortalidona. (His family provides him with all this medication.) He is progressively loosing his eyesight and has pain in his joints. More than 100 prisoners found in his prison subdivision consume the same food rations that are taken to his cell. Like my husband, the prisoners subsist thanks to the foodstuff brought to the penitentiary by their families since prison food is unsuitable for human consumption. Dr. Biscet is taken sporadically outside in the sunlight and, once a month, he is allowed to go out to walk in the open air.

Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet is in prison for peacefully defending the right to life and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and, in 1999, Amnesty International declared him prisoner of conscience. He is presently subjected to prison conditions that are inconsistent with the United Nation’s international treaties against inhumane, cruel and degrading treatment of which Cuba is signatory. Unfortunately, this situation goes unsolved by the Cuban government. His family, including myself, a health professional, are confronting an ethical, moral, and legal problem, reason why we request the immediate solidarity and cooperation of dignitaries, physicians, non-governmental human rights organizations, and of all those who value life’s dignity so that my husband is able to receive medical treatment, is removed from the harsh prison conditions he is being subjected to and is immediately and unconditionally released.

The family of Dr. Oscar E. Biscet has not received a response after the following allegations were made by prison officials Daniel and Yoelvis at the Combinado del Este Prison: “ At the end of 2006, we proposed the prosecutor’s office that Oscar be promoted to a less severe prison system.”

ELSA MOREJÓN, Licensed Registered Nurse (signature)
February, 27, 2007
(Wife of Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet González, president of the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights and prisoner of conscience.)

Translation: Coalition of Cuban-American Women/ LAIDA CARRO