Viasna concerned over harsh detention conditions in Cuba
The Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’ expresses its concern over the death of the famous Cuban prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata after 85 days of hunger-strike, while serving his 36-year term on charges of contempt, public disorder, and disobedience.
We consider his death to be caused by the severe detention conditions and the authorities’ disregard for the prisoner’s requirements to improve detention conditions.
We would also like to note that another Cuban independent journalist and doctor of psychology Guillermo Fariñas has been on a hunger-strike since 24 February 2010, demanding the release of 26 gravely sick Cuban political prisoners. His health causes serious concern.
On 2 March 2010 the relatives and fellow party members of the vice-president of the ’November 30’ party Maritza Lugo (6 persons) declared a hunger-strike in protest against the authorities’ failure to bring official charges against the politician within three months of imprisonment.
The Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’ expresses its solidarity with the political prisoners (200 persons, according to local human rights activists) and addresses the Cuban authorities with the following demands:
- to meet the requirement of Guillermo Fariñas and promptly release 26 severely sick political prisoners, and provide the necessary medical aid to them;
- to posthumously meet the requirement of Orlando Zapata and improve detention conditions in Cuba in accordance with the international standards;
- to promptly release Maritza Lugo;
- to release and exonerate all the Cuban prisoners of conscience.
On behalf of the Executive Board of the Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’, Uladzimir Labkovich