Luis Barrios Diaz, a Cuban political prisoner, passed away on Sunday at the La Covadonga hospital in Havana due to medical negligence by the prison authorities. The Cuban Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH) reported that Barrios Diaz, who was 37 years old, had been experiencing respiratory issues since August and was admitted to prison infirmary 1580 in San Miguel del Padrón, Havana. Despite doctors’ advice to keep him hospitalized for specialized care, the prison authorities returned him to prison due to a shortage 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 highlighted the deteriorating health of other political prisoners such as Félix Navarro and José Daniel Ferrer. The organization also urged democratic governments and the European Union to make a statement regarding the serious situation of political prisoners in Cuba and emphasized the state’s responsibility to provide adequate medical services to prisoners. Barrios Diaz was previously sentenced to nine years in prison for participating in the historic protests of July 11, 2021.