Alert: Cuban dissident on hunger strike at U.N.
human rights office, refusing medical attention
‘Where is Michelle Bachelet?’
NOTE: Media are invited now to visit and interview Dr. Ariel Ruiz Urquiola outside the Palais Wilson in Geneva, on Rue des Paquis. His condition is weak.
GENEVA, June 24, 2020 — Cuban environmental activist and former political prisoner Dr. Ariel Ruiz Urquiola is on a hunger strike in front of the United Nations human rights office in Geneva, has not had food, drink or his medications in more than 48 hours, and is at grave risk, warn human rights activists.
The dissident scientist is seeking a hearing from the United Nations about crimes done to him and his sister, Omara Ruiz Urquiola, by the Cuban government. (Click here for an interview with his sister.)
“I just spoke to Ariel, and I am very concerned that he is refusing to allow any medical care or attention,” said Cuban pro-democracy activist Rosa Maria Paya, executive director of Fundacion para la Democracia Panamericana.
“This is the third day of the Cuban scientist’s hunger and thirst strike in front of the office of Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The regime of Raúl Castro and Miguel Diaz-Canel infected Ariel with the HIV virus in Cuba, and he only asks to be heard.”
“Michelle Bachelet is responsible for his life. The high commissioner must walk the steps that separate her from Ariel, outside the gates of the Wilson Palace, and save his life. Where is Bachelet?”
In June 2018, Amnesty International declared Dr. Ruiz Urquiola a prisoner of conscience. His cause has recently been supported by groups such as the International Society for Human Rights, among others.
When Dr. Ruiz Urquiola accused the Cuban government in his research projects of destroying the environment, he was harassed and persecuted. The authorities tried to withdraw his teaching license and to end his academic career.
‟When I was arrested, I was demonstrably still healthy, but I was infected with HIV in prison on purpose”, says Dr. Ruiz Urquiola, as reported by Spanish newswire EFE.
Cuba Running for U.N. Human Rights Council Seat
Hillel Neuer, executive director of the independent human rights group UN Watch in Geneva, met with the hunger-striking Cuban dissident today.
“He looked weak, and I’m deeply concerned for his health,” said Neuer. “I am urging Michelle Bachelet to grant him a hearing.”
“Ariel is rightly outraged that the UN ignores the Cuban regime’s massive human rights violations, and that Havana is about to be re-elected to the UN Human Rights Council in a few months.”