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Former guestspeaker arrested. Join the MUNA fight. #Free El Sexto

January 29th 2015

Today MUNA received shocking news that former guestspeaker Danilo Maldonado Machado, better known as El Sexto, is arrested and is awaiting trial in Cuba since 25 December. He is ill and needs urgent medical assistence. He is arrested because he fights for freedom of expression in Cuba.

We remember Danilo's visit to Alfrink College two years ago very well. A cheerful, optimistic and passionate artist who loves his country. He aims with his work to open up the public space in Cuba for critical art and debate. Danilo really enjoyed to work with our pupils that day and we really enjoyed having him as our guest. He gave a graffiti workshop to our pupils who were at that time in the third year of our bilingual stream.

He brought a little present for the Alfrink pupils in the form of a small statement for freedom of expression: he gave the students a little paper that they could fold into a paper airplane with the word 'Libertad' written on the wings. You can find the paper airplane format on the  downloads  section of our website, as well as more info about the background of Danilo's arrest, provided by MUNA partner Human Rights Organisation Justice and Peace. Justice and Peace also started a worldwide Twitter and Facebook campaign to get Danilo free. Please forward #freeelsexto to all your contacts.

Letter to the Cuban ambassador

Alfrink principal Hans Timmermans has written a letter to the Cuban ambassador in the Netherlands to request for the release and immediate medical attention for Danilo.

Alfrink staff and pupils are invited to co-sign the letter, by signing one of the freedom paper airplanes we received from Danilo.

We will send all signed paper airplanes together with the letter of our principal to the Cuban ambassador.

Background arrest

Below you will read more details about Danilo's arrest we received from Justice and Peace.

"On Dec. 25, 2014 Danilo Maldonado was arrested while on his way to a Havana park. At the park he intended to stage an art performance involving two pigs, named “Raul” and “Fidel”, which was painted on the animals flanks. Police charged El Sexto with "insulting" under the country’s desacato law (Cuban Criminal Code, Article 144.1), which criminalises insulting or offensive speech toward public officials. If convicted, Maldonado could face up to three years in prison. He currently remains incarcerated, awaiting trial.
Laritza Diversent, a dissident lawyer, tried to win El Sexto's release by filing a writ of habeas corpus arguing that El Sexto had been arrested arbitrarily. Furthermore she argued that "Fidel" and "Raúl" are common names and the government should not be so sensitive to criticism. Officials rejected her arguments.
Meanwhile, Diario de Cuba and other sources reported on Wednesday 21 January that El Sexto has developed pneumonia and is not receiving necessary medical care3. Danilo Maldonado needs to be released from prison and receive medical care."

Join the fight: forward  #freeelsexto

You can find backgound information, the letter of our principal and the paper airplane format on our downloads section of our website.

Please join the fight and join the Twitter and the Facebook campaign and spread the word and the paper airplanes!