A+ A A-

Cuban officials slammed for jailing dissident's disabled son

Yosvany Melchor, jailed in CubaYosvany Melchor, jailed in CubaHavana, Nov. 2 (CNA/EWTN News).- Cuban dissident Rosa Maria Rodriguez has denounced the local government for imprisoning her mentally impaired son as retaliation for her refusal to leave the opposition.

Rodriguez's son, Yosvany Melchor (photo), is a 29-year-old man with psychiatric problems and no criminal background.

However, since 2010 he has been serving a twelve-year prison sentence after being convicted of human trafficking in trial his mother characterized as "a stage show."

Rodriguez, a member of the Christian Liberation Movement, told CNA on Oct. 30 this year that two years ago she had been ordered by Cuban state police to quit her association with the Movement.

"I refused, and they tried to blackmail me," she said, adding that days later her son was detained.

The indictment against her son listed his mother as a member of the opposition and a signer of the Varela Project – a document that calls for peaceful democratic change in Cuba.

"Who is on trial?" Rodriguez asked. "Me or my son?"

She said her youngest daughter, who just finished high school, has also been the target of government reprisals ...

[ Full text ]
Editor's Note: Early in 2010, the Cuban State Security began to harass Rosa María Rodríguez Gil and threatened to imprison his son Yosvany Melchor -who is not a dissident– because she had joined the Christian Liberation Movement. Rosa Maria rejected the Political Police blackmail and maintained its unwavering willingness to keep fighting peacefully for the rights and freedom of the Cuban people. In retaliation Yosvany Melchor was arrested for several days in the interrogation centre of the State Security in Versalles, province of Santiago de Cuba. Under interrogation, Melchor bite the veins of his right hand, and he told later to his mother that he did it because he did not support the abuse and torture suffered. Yosvany Melchor, 28, presents a long clinical history of mental illness since childhood. In November 2010, in a trial fraught with falsehood and arbitrariness, a Cuban court condemned Yosvany Melchor Rodríguez to 12 years of deprivation of liberty, in spite of the lack of witnesses on the part of the Prosecution and without any proof that he had any involvement in the events argued by the Prosecutor against him. Since then, Yosvany Melchor, whose family resides in the capital, is being held more than 600 miles from his home, in the gloomy prison of Boniato, where inmates are known to receive cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.