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Cuba: Dissident artist launched from hospital after 4 weeks

Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara, chief of the San Isidro protest motion, was admitted to hospital on Might 2 after starvation strike.

A dissident Cuban artist who spent eight days on a starvation strike has been launched from hospital, the Havana public well being authority mentioned on Monday.

Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara, the 33-year-old chief of the San Isidro protest motion (MSI) of artists and intellectuals pushing for better freedom of expression, went on a starvation strike final month to protest in opposition to authorities seizing a number of of his works.

He was admitted to hospital on Might 2, eight days into his starvation strike.

“I’m actually joyful and relieved, he’s at his household residence now no less than,” Otero Alcantara’s good friend and fellow activist Iris Ruiz instructed the Reuters information company. “There was a lot uncertainty earlier than.”

The Basic Calixto Garcia college hospital the place he was handled introduced “his full restoration” and mentioned Otero Alcantara “reiterated his gratitude to the personnel that taken care of him at each alternative”.

Within the early days of his hospital keep, authorities launched movies of him showing in good well being however these near Otero Alcantara mentioned they’d been unable to speak with him.

Amnesty Worldwide earlier this month described him as a “prisoner of conscience”, saying state safety appeared to have him below supervision and incommunicado on the hospital.

US State Division official Julie Chung had raised issues about Otero Alcantara’s situation when he was admitted to hospital and urged the Cuban authorities “to take instant steps to guard his life and well being”.

The USA Embassy in Cuba additionally mentioned at the moment that Otero Alcantara, like all Cubans, “deserves to be handled with dignity and respect”.

After his arrest final month, he was launched however rearrested a number of instances for making an attempt to depart his residence, which had been surrounded by police.

Throughout his starvation strike, his web service was reduce off and police prevented individuals, together with two monks, from visiting Otero Alcantara.

The MSI claimed he had been taken to hospital by power and that official medical stories on his situation have been “complicated and contradictory”.

In an indication of solidarity, final week roughly 20 Cuban artists requested that their works in Havana’s Wonderful Arts Museum be hidden from public view. The museum rejected the request, saying it wasn’t in “the general public curiosity”.

Painter Tomas Sanchez, 73, wrote on Fb: “Cuban artwork goes by way of darkish instances … the criminalisation of distinction just isn’t – and by no means can be – a path in direction of coexistence.”

Members of the San Isidro Motion held a rare protest in entrance of the Tradition Ministry in November in opposition to curbs to freedom of expression and the detention of artists and activists.

Since then, authorities have taken to state-run media to denounce its members and allies as agitators working with the US to destabilise the federal government. The group has denied the accusations.

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