Working Group on Arbitrary Detention calls for “full release” of Cuban activist Yandier García Labrada


In addition to requesting his release, this UN mechanism has asked the Cuban State to provide him with compensation and reparations.

Washington D.C., April 5, 2024 – “February 27 (2024) was the last time I saw my brother. He was very thin,” says Iran Almaguer Labrada, brother of Cuban activist Yandier Garcia Labrada (39 years old), who appears in the Opinion 68/2023 of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which was made public in mid-March. In the document, the United Nations mechanism requested the “full release” of the human rights defender, who is also a member of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL).

The Opinion, adopted in the framework of the 98th session of this Working Group, also asks the State of Cuba to compensate and make reparations to García Labrada; to investigate and punish those responsible for his detention; and to provide information on compliance with this “decision” within a period of six months after its publication, which is October 2024.

“On October 6, 2020, my brother was detained for claiming his rights in a queue (line to obtain food and basic necessities). A repressor pushed him and assaulted him, and then more State Security agents arrived and called the police. He was shouting ‘Down with the dictatorship’,” Almaguer says.

Yandier García Labrada is serving a five-year sentence for the crimes of contempt for authority and propagation of epidemics. Since the beginning of his imprisonment, he has been transferred to various prisons and has suffered isolation, transfers to punishment cells, denial of medical attention, and restrictions on communication with his family members. Since January 19, 2023, he has been held in the Guabineyón 8 correctional work center in the province of Las Tunas. The prison authorities have denied him the benefits of home visits and parole, even though he meets the regulatory requirements.

His brother Iran Almaguer, who suffers from a disease called retinitis pigmentosa which has led him to blindness, says that Yandier Garcia lived with his mother in the municipality of Manatí, in Las Tunas; and since he has been deprived of his freedom, she has suffered serious health problems. “She is hypertensive and has Alzheimer’s disease”.

From the Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality), the organization that referred the case of García Labrada to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, we demand that the State of Cuba comply with the request made by this United Nations mechanism, in its Opinion number 68/2023. We call for the immediate release of this Cuban activist, who has been unjustly deprived of his liberty for more than three years, as well as all those who remain imprisoned for demanding their rights in this country. We demand that Cuba respect, protect and guarantee the human rights of all its inhabitants, without discrimination of any kind.

We also call on the international community to follow up on compliance with this Opinion, and to continue to condemn the human rights violations occurring on the island.

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