Cuban editor starts hunger strike to demand release of his reporter from Castro gulag
Cuban editor starts hunger strike to demand release of his reporter from
Castro gulag (UPDATED)
UPDATED, 8 p.m. EDT — Via Twitter, Roberto Guerra reports that Calixto
Martinez has resumed his hunger strike.
Cuban independent journalist Roberto de Jesus Guerra on Monday started a
hunger strike to force the release of his imprisoned colleague, Calixto
Guerra, director of the Hablemos Press news agency and himself a former
political prisoner, had warned last week that several activists were
prepared to go on hunger strike on Martinez's behalf if the regime did
not release Martinez within days after on March 28 he ended a 22-day
hunger strike. (For what it was worth, his jailers had promised Martinez
that if he ended his protest, he would be released within days.)
Over the weekend, it was reported that three activists in Camaguey had
started their own hunger strikes to show support for Martinez. And on
Monday, Guerra took to Twitter to announce his protest:
'I have declared myself on hunger strike because the authorities have
not fulfilled their promise to free the journalist Calixto Ramon Martinez'
Martinez has been imprisoned since Sept. 16, when he was arrested while
investigating why a shipment of medical supplies at the Havana airport
had been allowed to spoil.
"Though he was never formally charged or faced court, the police are
accusing him with 'disrespect' toward President Raul Castro and former
president Fidel," Amnesty International said in February when it
designated Martinez as a prisoner of conscience.
While in jail, Martinez has carried out two lengthy hunger strikes, the
second of which he ended after officials told him he would soon be
released. Last week, he was transferred from Combinando del Este prison
in Havana to another jail — far short of what Martinez and his
supporters had been lead to expect.
Guerra's patience with the dictatorship has reached its limit.
"Six months is sufficient," he said last week."