On Sunday, the Cuban political prisoner Luis Barrios Diaz passed away at the La Covadonga hospital in Havana due to negligence by the prison authorities, as reported by the Cuban Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH). The NGO, located in Madrid, stated that Barrios Díaz, aged 37, began experiencing respiratory issues in August and was admitted to the infirmary of prison 1580 in San Miguel del Padrón, Havana. Despite doctor’s advisement for him to stay hospitalized, the prison authorities decided to return him to prison due to lack of fuel for constant surveillance. His health deteriorated and he died after undergoing emergency surgery for respiratory complications on Saturday.
The OCDH called for the immediate release of all political prisoners and pointed out the deteriorating health of other political prisoners such as Félix Navarro and José Daniel Ferrer. The organization also requested for the statement of democratic governments and the European Union regarding the serious situation of political prisoners in Cuba, emphasizing the responsibility of the state to provide adequate medical services to prisoners.
Luis Barrios Diaz was previously sentenced to nine years in prison for participating in the historic protests of July 11, 2021. His death has brought attention to the ongoing human rights abuses committed against political dissidents in Cuba. The government has been criticized for its treatment of political prisoners and its failure to address their basic needs such as healthcare and medical attention.