Cuban Authorities Release Danilo ‘El Sexto’ Maldonado from Prison
After 10 months behind bars, he's finally free.
After ten months behind bars, artist Danilo “El Sexto” Maldonado has been freed from Cuban prison, reports the Associated Press.
The artist was imprisoned in December, allegedly in retaliation for a politically-charged artwork involving two painted pigs. The piece mocked Cuba’s president, Raul, and his predecessor and older brother, Fidel; according to Amnesty International, Cuban authorities stopped the artist on his way to Havana’s Central Park to release the painted pigs.
Today, Maldonado called the AP to confirm that he was safe at home. “I was in prison this morning and they told me to get my things and I obeyed,” Maldonado said. “Afterward, they told me that they were finally going to set me free.”
Maldonado’s arrest took place a mere eight days after Cuba agreed to release 53 political prisoners as part of an agreement with the US, and Cuban performance artist Tania Bruguera returned to the US in August after eight months in Cuban prison, also for challenging the government with her work.
International human rights groups including Amnesty International had rallied on both artists’ behalf, accusing Cuba of attacking freedom of expression.
In response to his detention, the artist engaged in month-long hunger strike that only ended this month when he was informed he would be released.
According to Maldonado, he was never charged with a crime, despite having been imprisoned since December 25. He claims that he was detained “simply because I made fun of the highest leaders of this revolution.”
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