Artist 'El Sexto' walks out of prison in Cuba

Artist spends 2 months in prison after celebrating Fidel Castro's death

By Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer , Liane Morejon - Reporter
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HAVANA - Cuban authorities freed artist Danilo Maldonado on Saturday. The Cuban government had been holding the artist known as "El Sexto" since Nov. 26. 

International human rights U.S. human rights lawyer Kimberley Motley took up his case and was later detained for hours in Havana. 

Maldonado's family said they were grateful to Motley and international civil rights attorney Centa B. Rek Chajtur from the Human Rights Foundation.

"It was the growing awareness about his case that has led the Cuban government to liberate him," a statement on the artist's Facebook page said. They added that Maldonado plans to "continue doing meaningful art towards a free and democratic Cuba."

The artist was released after the Geneva-based United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention started to review a legal petition filed in his behalf. 

The graffiti writer had been in prison before. Cubans held him for about 10 months after he attempted to release two pigs he had spray painted with the names of Raul and Fidel Castro. 

Maldonado's latest arrest happened before an exhibit he was supposed to host in Miami during Art Basel. Cuban authorities showed up to his apartment after he celebrated the death of Fidel Castro with graffiti. 

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