After almost two years in prison, Cuban rock rebel Gorki Luis Águila Carrasco was released on 16 March 2005.
Gorki Luis Águila Carrasco is a popular musician in Cuba. In 2003, he had just produced an award-winning video, and a radio station in Havana announced that Gorki was the third most popular rocker in Cuba. Then – at a rock festival in Pinar del Río in April 2003 – he was suddenly arrested on charges of drug trafficking.
Four months later, on 15 August 2003, the controversial Cuban rock artist was convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment. His constant challenge to free speech in Cuba was silenced. During the brief trial, where Gorki’s attorney did only have ten minutes to present his client’s case, the Counsel for the Prosecution did not present convincing evidence. The circumstances leading to his arrest were such that no evidence of drug trafficking was presented.
On October 17, 2003, Freemuse launched an international campaign for the release of Gorki Carrasco, and requested the Cuban government to reconsider the doubtful court case against him.
Initially, Gorki was held under harsh conditions that seriously affected his health in Destacamento Cinco in the Provincial Prison of Pinar del Río. In 2004, he was moved to a minimum security prison just outside Havana. There, he was part of a prison salsa band.
In March 2005, Freemuse received information that he has been granted conditional release. Details are still unknown.
Approximately 75 dissidents – writers, doctors and opposition politicians – were jailed in Cuba in 2003. The majority continue to serve time in the Cuban prisons.
Read The World’s Marco Werman report, Global Hit, of January 19, 2005:
Read the correspondance between Freemuse and the Cuban authorities regarding Gorki