The life of political prisoner Carlos Michael Morales in grave danger after 14 days of hunger strike

En grave peligro la vida del preso político Carlos Michael Morales tras 14 días de huelga de hambre
2 July, 2024
Cuban Freedom March y los promotores de Cuba Decide se enorgullecen de anunciar un evento de conmemoración por el 3er Aniversario de la protesta masiva del 11 de julio
9 July, 2024

The life of independent journalist Carlos Michael Morales, currently admitted to the medical unit of the Guamajal prison, is in grave danger after 14 days on a hunger strike. This political prisoner has been subjected to constant violations and torture, which forced him to start this second strike on June 19, 2024, with a single demand: his immediate release.

Carlos Michael Morales is an activist, journalist, and promoter of the citizen platform Cuba Decide. Due to the severity of the situation, the FDP Incidents Report Center of Cuba Decide submitted an Urgent Appeal to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on May 20, 2024.

“My brother is going to die,” expressed Carlos’s sister to our Incidents Report Center, terrified by the situation. State security agents warned Morales that he could be sentenced for the crime of disobedience, but after two months of unjust imprisonment, Carlos remains incarcerated without trial.

On May 4th, after several incidents of police harassment, Carlos Michael was detained during a summons at the Penal Instruction Unit of Caibarién and immediately began his first hunger strike. He ended it on May 22nd, awaiting the response to the Habeas Corpus submitted by his lawyer. When the regime denied the Habeas Corpus, Carlos Michael resumed the hunger strike in a desperate effort to regain his freedom and protect himself from torture. Today marks 14 days without consuming food.

In the letter that Carlos Michael sent immediately after his first strike, he reported that after experiencing severe chest pain, he was denied medical assistance and, instead, was beaten by the unit chief. This led to his transfer to the hospital in critical condition, presenting with fatigue, pain, and high blood pressure.

Carlos narrated that on May 8th, the head of instruction and confrontation against dissent in the province of Villa Clara appeared at the detention center where Morales is being held, offering him freedom in exchange for recording a video in which he would renounce his ties with Cuban dissident Iván Hernández Carrillo, the internal peaceful opposition, the exile community, and his work as an independent journalist. Morales’s response was clear and forceful: “they can apply the death penalty that they have so often announced on television.” Days later, on May 17th, state security agent Ariel Hernández Avellanes, the instructor of Morales’s case, reappeared at the unit to offer him an ultimatum: renounce his activism or face a year of forced labor. Again, Morales responded: “they can sentence me to death.”

The FDP Incidents Report Center urges the IACHR and the international community to demand the immediate release of Carlos Michael Morales and to denounce the ongoing human rights violations against Carlos Michael Morales and other activists on the island. Morales’s life and freedom hang by a thread due to the systematic repression by the Cuban authorities.

FDP Incidents Report Center