lunes, 8 de junio de 2009


human rights first

Defender Alert

Release Ill Cuban Activist from Isolation Cell

Tony Diaz, an instrumental organizer of a civic initiative known as the Varela Project in Cuba, was thrown in jail for his human rights activities in the spring of 2003.  The Varela Project was collected petition signatures for a constitutional referendum on democratic reforms and respect for basic freedoms. Now, more than six years later, Diaz suffers from serious intestinal problems.  This week, Diaz was transferred to a prison isolation cell, seriously endangering his health.

For the past eight months, Diaz has been receiving treatment for his illness at the Carlos J. Finlay Military Hospital in Havana.  During his stay, State Security agents repeatedly offered to transfer Diaz to a prison close to his home if he agreed to fully cooperate with them and wear a certain uniform.  Upon his refusal, he was transferred this past week to an isolation cell in Canaleta prison in Ciego de Avila province, more than 500 km away from his home in Havana. His detention consists of a dark and humid cell with no outside communication. Demand that he be released from the isolation cell and receive the medical care that he needs.

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Alert Date: June 8, 2009

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