El régimen aísla a Ariel Ruiz Urquiola al trasladarlo a una granja de trabajo de difícil acceso
DDC | TV Martí | 15 de Junio de 2018 - 02:02 CEST. | 8
Ariel Ruiz Urquiola planting a live pole to fence. (FACEBOOK / ARURQUIOLA)
Amnesty International declared "biologist Ariel Ruiz Urquiola " prisoner of conscience , sentenced in Cuba to one year of imprisonment for the alleged crime of "contempt". The NGO launched on Monday an urgent action in which it demands that the environmental activist "must be released unconditionally and immediately."
"Ariel Ruiz Urquiola is a doctor of biological sciences and previously worked as a researcher at the University of Havana, and in 2015, he bought a house in the Sierra del Infierno area, in the Viñales National Park (...)," he recalls.
"After acquiring the right to cultivate the land around his house, in 2016 he started an environmental project with his family and friends to preserve species and develop sustainable agricultural projects," he adds.
On the morning of May 3, 2018, two rangers visited the land of Ariel. According to the witnesses who spoke with Amnesty International, they asked if they had the corresponding permits for the construction of a fence, for cutting trees and for the possession of a chainsaw.
Urquiola Ruiz invited them to go with him to the house to see the permits. On the way, he had a few words with the forest rangers and referred to one of them "as a rural guard".
The Municipal Court of Viñales, in Pinar del Río, sentenced Ruiz Urquiola in May to one year in prison, for the alleged crime of "contempt." That legal figure is frequently used by the regime to imprison opponents.
His family has denounced that the real objective is to take away the farm where he develops his ecological project in Pinar del Río. The imprisonment of Ruíz Urquiola was preceded by acts of vandalism on the farm and threats from State Security.
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Ruiz Urquiola was expelled from the Marine Research Center in April 2016 for alleged unexcused absences from his workplace. He denounced at that time to the independent press that his dismissal was because they wanted to separate him from an international project on Cuban biodiversity that he led jointly with a German university.
In his Urgent Action, Amnesty International urges the authorities "to immediately and unconditionally release Ariel Ruiz Urquiola", whom he defines as "a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression."
In addition, AI urges the Government to ensure that, pending his release, Ruiz Urquiola is not mistreated, intimidated or threatened; and be given regular access to relatives and lawyers of their choice.
Finally, it calls on the regime to guarantee "the right to freedom of expression, assembly and association, including critical voices, and repeal any legislation that unduly limits these rights."