As published in Diario de Cuba, “Cuban artist Danilo Maldonado (El Sexto), imprisoned for five months, was honored Wednesday at the 2015 Oslo Freedom Forum, where he was given in absentia the Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent, awarded by the Human Rights Foundation (HRF).”

The ceremony was broadcast live. “El Sexto was awarded alongside the non-violent Sudanese resistance movement Girifna and Indonesian comedian Sakdiyah,” said the Diario.

Receiving the award on Danilo’s behalf was the artist Lia Villares, who read a message sent by the graffiti artist from Valle Grande prison in Havana, where he awaits trial on charges of “contempt.”

According to Diario, Villares read a statement from Danilo, which declared that “Vaclav Havel is an inspiration to every artist who has been oppressed by tyranny. It’s an honor. For someone who is committed to the place and time he lives, and dreams of a better future for his family, this award is that: a liberating light that gives me more strength to continue.”

El Sexto dedicated the award to “the most courageous women in Cuba: the Ladies in White, who are beaten and arbitrarily arrested every Sunday after attending mass.”  He also made a dedication to his daughter Renata Maria, 1 year and 8 months old. “I hope to grow up in a land where dreams are not censored or crushed,” he added.

In addition, El Secto mentioned the writer Ángel Santiesteban, who has been “unjustly imprisoned for two years for daring to think differently and express himself freely” as well as the artist Tania Bruguera, “for her courage, for having faith that Cubans can reach to tolerate each other in a peaceful mark of human understanding.”

To sign the petition to #FreeElSexto, click here.

To read the full article (Spanish), click here.

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