Friday, March 27, 2015

Artist imprisoned for painting the names "Fidel" and "Raul" on two piglets

Cuba: Artist imprisoned for painting the names "Fidel" and "Raul" on two
piglets / Laritza Diversent
Posted on March 26, 2015

After 90 days of imprisonment, there is no formal accusation against the
artist, Danilo Maldonado.

Laritza Diversent, Havana, 25 March 2015 — Authorities are still
imprisoning the artist, Danilo Maldonado, known as "El Sexto" (The
Sixth), who was detained arbitrarily by the police.

Maldonado, 31 years old, is an urban artist and painter who finds
himself accused of "aggravated contempt," a charge that the Cuban State
uses to incarcerate people who are critical of the Government. He
presently is serving 90 days in preventive custody in Valle Grande, on
the outskirts of the Capital.

On the afternoon of December 25, 2014, Maldonado staged a "show" in a
spot in the city of Havana, when he was detained by police operatives.
They arrested him for having two piglets in a sack. One was painted on
the back with the name "Fidel," and the other, with the name "Raul."

Both names are common; however, the authorities assumed that they
disrespected the Castro brothers, and they could impose on him a
sanction of between one and three years of prison. Cubalex presented an
appeal before the Havana tribunal for the authorities to explain the
motive for the detention, a recourse that was denied.

The prosecutor didn't even formally present the accusation before the
tribunal. Maldonado's lawyer asked the authorities several times to
allow him to await trial in liberty, which request was also denied.

In Cuban law, the crime of "contempt" is an amplified term that includes
defamation or insults toward other Government employees, and it carries
aggravated penalties when it is committed against the Head of State. The
Inter-American Commission of Human Rights has said that this type of
rule goes against freedom of expression and the free demonstration of
ideas and opinions, which do not justify the imposition of sanctions.

Let's not forget that all those people who exercise public office or are
important statesman, like the Heads of State or the Government, can be
legitimate objects of criticism or political opposition. Freedom of
expression should take place without inhibition in the public debate
about Government officials.

Let's ask the Cuban State to guarantee and respect Danilo Maldonado's
right to freedom of expression, without restrictions. Furthermore, let's
ask the international community to speak up for his freedom and his
right to a fair trial.

About Cubalex:

Cubalex, the Center of Legal Information, is located in Havana, Cuba. We
are a non-profit organization founded in 2010, not recognized by the
Cuban State. We offer free legal advice on housing, migration,
inheritance, criminal appeals, constitutional procedures and defending
civil and political rights, in the national and international arena, to
Cuban citizens or foreigners who request our services.

If you want a consultation, you can find us through our email:;

or by telephone: (537) 7 647-226 or (+535)-241-5948

Translated by Regina Anavy

Source: Cuba: Artist imprisoned for painting the names "Fidel" and
"Raul" on two piglets / Laritza Diversent | Translating Cuba -

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