Several political prisoners at the Valle Grande prison in Havana have started hunger strikes to protest their unjust imprisonment and to demand the release of all political prisoners.
The protesters, many of whom are activists with the Patriotic Union of Cuba, or UNPACU, one of Cuba's largest opposition groups, also are demanding the end of all political repression of opposition activists; and the repeal of a law that allows the dictatorship to label dissidents as "pre-criminal social dangers."
Three of the protesters -- Yusel Pérez, Ariel Yollin Capé and Yuslan Pérez Capé -- were arrested when they were caught distributing anti-Castro posters and leaflets.
Five others -- UNPACU activists Isaín López Luna, Alexander Alan Rodríguez, Emilio Serrano Rodríguez, Ernesto Ortega Sarduy and Carlos A. Calderín Roca -- were arrested July 6 during a protest at Central Park in Havana, where they peacefully sat on the ground to demand the end of political repression.
Also on hunger strike is the prisoner Jesús Cruz Pérez.
The prisoners face pending charges of "public disorder" and "disrespect."
"We are concerned because they are prisoners ... accused of crimes they have not committed, as expressing yourself peacefully in the streets or distributing leaflets does not violate any law," said Arcelio Rafael Molina, an independent journalist and UNPACU activist, in a report to MartiNoticias.com.
"We are asking for solidarity with these Cubans," he said.