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Cuban graffiti artist arrested again
Published on December 1, 2016 Email To Friend    Print Version

HAVANA, Cuba -- Cuban graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado Machado (also known as ‘El Sexto’) – named a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International in 2015 – was re-arrested at his home in Havana on 26 November, shortly after the announcement of Fidel Castro’s death. Maldonado was on the phone with his girlfriend when state officials forced their way into his apartment.

According to his mother, Maria Victoria Machado, she and his sister were initially unable to locate him, before they eventually located him at a prison later that afternoon. Maldonado’s mother says he is currently detained in Guanabacoa, Eastern Havana. When Maria Machado visited him on 27 November, officials did not give reasons for his arrest.

On 26 November, according to Cuba-based newspaper 14 y medio, Danilo Maldonado had graffitied the words “He’s gone” (Se fue) on a wall in Havana. The news outlet reported that El Sexto’s graffiti was one of the first public demonstrations outside of the state-organized demonstrations of mourning following the announcement of Fidel Castro’s death.

Short-term arbitrary arrests remain a common tactic to restrict freedom of expression in Cuba. In October, the Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation, which like other human rights organizations is not recognized by Cuban authorities, reported 620 arbitrary detentions of peaceful protestors and opposition activists.

Provisions of the Cuban Criminal Code, such as contempt of a public official (desacato), resistance to public officials carrying out their duties (resistencia) and public disorder (desórdenes públicos) are frequently used to stifle free speech, assembly and association.
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Peter Binose:

The Castro government and all those Caribbean leaders who support it are quite simply scum.


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