Hunger strike in Cuba
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    THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGTHS CONDEMNS DEATH OF ORLANDO ZAPATAIN CUBA

    THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGTHS CONDEMNS DEATH OF ORLANDO
    ZAPATAIN CUBA
    2010-02-28.
    Inter-American Commission on

    (www.miscelaneasdecuba.net).- Washington, D.C., February 26, 2010 — The
    Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, IACHR, deeply regrets and
    condemns the death of Cuban Tamayo, who died of
    starvation after 85 days on a hunger strike. The IACHR expresses its
    condolences and solidarity with his next of kin.

    Mr. Tamayo was one of the victims in IACHR Case No. 12.476, in
    which the Inter-American Commission recommended to the State of Cuba
    that it order the immediate and unconditional release of all the victims
    in the case and overturn their convictions, inasmuch as they were based
    on laws that impose unlawful restrictions on their human rights. The
    report on the merits in this case, approved on October 21, 2006, also
    recommended that the State adopt the measures necessary to adapt its
    laws, procedures, and practices to international human rights laws;
    redress the victims and their next of kin for the pecuniary and
    non-pecuniary damages suffered as a result of the violations of the
    American Declaration established in the report; and adopt the measures
    necessary to prevent a recurrence of similar acts. The State of Cuba has
    not complied with the IACHR's recommendations.

    Orlando Zapata Tamayo was detained in March 2003, as part of a crackdown
    by the State of Cuba against human rights activists and independent
    journalists. Between April 3 and 7, 2003, the more than 70 individuals
    who had been detained in March were subject to proceedings that lasted
    no longer than a day and were held behind closed doors, with access
    barred to reporters, diplomats, and the general public. At the end of
    the proceedings, they were sentenced to terms of up to 28 years.
    At that time, Mr. Zapata Tamayo was sentenced to three years in prison.

    Subsequently, Mr. Zapata Tamayo was sentenced in Cuba to additional
    prison terms, due to his dissident opinions. According to news accounts,
    he had reportedly been sentenced to 36 years in prison. Information
    received by the IACHR indicates that Mr. Zapata Tamayo had been
    subjected to and inhumane treatment in the Kilo 8 prison.

    Meanwhile, the IACHR also received information that, following the death
    of Mr. Zapata Tamayo, at least 50 dissidents reportedly were detained or
    forced to remain in their houses to prevent them from attending the wake
    and funeral.

    The Commission reiterates that restrictions to political rights and to
    of and the dissemination of thought; the lack of
    elections; and the lack of independence of the judiciary create a
    permanent situation in Cuba in which the fundamental rights of its
    citizens are violated. The Commission once again urges the State to
    carry out the reforms that are necessary in accordance with its
    international human rights obligations.

    The IACHR would like to reiterate to the State of Cuba the
    recommendation that it order the immediate and unconditional release of
    all the victims in Case 12.476 and overturn their convictions, inasmuch
    as they were based on laws that impose unlawful restrictions on their
    human rights. The IACHR also urges the State of Cuba to adapt its legal
    procedures to applicable international standards for due process, so
    that those who go before the courts for a determination of their rights
    and responsibilities can count on the minimum legal guarantees to be
    able to exercise their defense.

    A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States,
    OAS, the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the
    American Convention on Human Rights. The Commission is composed of seven
    independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing
    a particular country, and who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.

    María Isabel Rivero
    Directora de la Oficina de Prensa y
    Comisión Interamericana de
    Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
    Tel. +1 (202) 458-3867

    THE INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGTHS CONDEMNS DEATH OF ORLANDO
    ZAPATAIN CUBA – Misceláneas de Cuba (28 February 2010)
    http://www.miscelaneasdecuba.net/web/article.asp?artID=25969

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