[Many thanks to Peter Polack for bringing this item to our attention.] Nine Cubans held in George Town’s Immigration Detention Centre launched a hunger strike Sunday, hastening a regional media outreach campaign seeking to reveal what the detainees describe as human rights abuses by the Cayman Islands government. Kayla Young (Cayman Compass) reports:
In recent weeks, a majority of the center’s 13 remaining detainees, all of whom have applied for asylum, have allied with the pro-democracy Cuban Nationalist Party to voice complaints and broadcast live on Facebook from inside the detention center.
The men appear in photos and videos holding a handmade banner in support of the political group, with messages such as “Down with communism,” “Freedom,” and “Democracy.”
They consider themselves “political prisoners” in Cayman, held in detention for indefinite periods because they reject returning to communist Cuba. Five men in the center have been detained for more than two years. Six others have been detained for more than one year.
Neither the Department of Immigration nor the Prison Service replied to requests to clarify the center’s cellphone policy or whether live broadcasts created any security concerns for the center, which falls under Prison Service management and will soon house select prisoners from the overcrowded men’s prison, Northward.
Also see “Prisoners head to immigration detention as packed jails hit limit” at https://www.caymancompass.com/2018/07/03/prisoners-head-to-immigration-detention-as-packed-jails-hit-limit/ and “Legal panel proposed to handle asylum seekers” at https://www.caymancompass.com/2018/06/25/legal-panel-proposed-to-handle-asylum-seekers/