May 5, 2003

On Friday, May 2, Elsa Morejon Hernandez, wife of Dr. Oscar E. Biscet, traveled to the Provincial Prison in Pinar del Rio province called Kilo Cinco y Medio where her husband was transferred on April 24,2003. Unable to see him she was informed by the director of the prison of her husband's critical situation.

Dr. Biscet, founder of the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights, was being applied the strictest prison code regulations because he refused to wear the common prisoners' uniform. He is presently punished in solitary confinement wearing only his underwear, prohibited from receiving family visits, food provisions or toiletries nor have access to any literature or any writing material. His punishment will continue indefinitely until he accedes to wears the uniform.

Dr. Biscet practices nonviolent civil disobedience and has previously declared himself a "plantado", term used by Cuban political prisoners who refuse to comply with any prison discipline which undermines their dignity. As a political prisoner of conscience he considers it unacceptable to wear a common prisoners' uniform.

Dr. Biscet, afro-Cuban and 41 years old, has been arbitrarily detained 26 times in the past and has endured systematic psychological and physical abuses from Cuba authorities since 1998. For years he has suffered from a severe gum infection that has not been treated.

For his peaceful pro democracy struggle, Dr. Biscet served a three year sentence in a maximum security prison in Holguin province, 768 kilometers away from his home. He was released October 31,2003 only to be arrested 36 days later on December 6 when he was about to hold a meeting with fellow activists.

Dr. Biscet remained incarcerated and was included in a wave of repression that took place throughout the Cuba from March 18 to April 11 when almost 80 activists were taken before summary trials and given sentences of up to 28 years in prison and three afro Cubans were executed by firing squad for trying to hijack a ferry to the United States.

On April 7, 2003, Dr. Biscet was tried and sentenced to 25 years for serving as a mercenary to a foreign state. On April 24 he was transferred to the maximum security prison in Pinar del Rio called Kilo Cinco y Medio.

Elsa Morejón expressed her deep concern for the physical and mental well being of her husband and urgently appeals to heads of states, leaders of political, civic, religious and professional organizations, the press, and all men and women of good will worldwide to demand before the Cuban government the unconditional and immediate freedom of Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet and all those prisoners whose only crime is to honor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in their own country.

Testimony provided via telephone from Cuba and translated to English. 
Coalition of Cuban-American Women/LAIDA CARRO 
Acosta 464 entre 8va y 9na, Lawton, Municipio 10 de Octubre, La Habana, Cuba.