Amnesty International last week called for "urgent action" on behalf of three imprisoned siblings, who their mother says are in poor health after starting hunger strikes on March 7 to demand their freedom.
Twin sisters Anairis and Adairis Miranda Leyva, their brother, Fidel Manuel Batista Leyva and their mother Maydolis Leyva Portelles, all well known anti-Castro activists in the city of Holguin, were arrested Nov. 27 for leaving their home during a period of official mourning. In January, they were convicted for "public disorder" and "defaming institutions, organizations and heroes and martyrs of the Republic of Cuba," and each sentenced to one year in prison.
The mother was allowed to serve her time under house arrest, but her children were taken into custody on March 7 to begin their sentences. That same day, they started hunger strikes to demand their freedom.
Amnesty International, which has designated all four members as "prisoners of conscience" has more:
The siblings are currently being held in three separate hospitals in critical condition. Doctors informed their mother that Adairis is at risk of a heart attack and that Fidel is urinating blood; and that all have lost significant weight. On her last hospital visit, Maydolis Leyva Portelles says that she was asked to sign a document which would authorize doctors to force feed her three children, which she refused to do. She told Amnesty International, “I don’t want any of my children to die, but I want to respect their wishes.” All three siblings and their mother are prisoners of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally.
Amnesty International has information here about how you appeal on the family's behalf to the Castro dictatorship.