Hunger strike in Cuba
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    Cuba must immediately release prisoner of conscience

    Cuba must immediately release prisoner of conscience
    11 September 2013

    “It is a sad reflection of the state of the rule of law in Cuba, when
    people are convicted to prison terms not for what they have done but for
    what they might do.”
    Javier Zúñiga, Special Advisor for Amnesty International.
    Authorities in Cuba must immediately and unconditionally release a
    political activist imprisoned solely because of his political views,
    Amnesty International said as it adopted Iván Fernández Depestre a
    “Prisoner of Conscience”.
    The 40 year-old political activist, was arrested on 30 July in the
    central province of Villa Clara as he peacefully participated in a
    public event to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Cuban
    national hero Frank País.
    “Iván Fernández Depestre is being held only because he holds opinions
    contrary to those of the Cuban authorities. He must be released
    immediately and unconditionally,” said Javier Zúñiga, Special Advisor
    for Amnesty International.
    Mr Depestre was charged with “dangerousness”, a pre-emptive measure
    defined as the “special proclivity of a person to commit crimes” after
    he was accused of “meeting with antisocial persons”. He had no access to
    a lawyer during his trial and was sentenced to three years in jail on 2
    August. He is currently on hunger strike.
    “The Cuban authorities seem to be using every trick in the book to
    punish those who dare to speak up about human rights. They are even
    using a law that punishes potential offences on account of ‘antisocial
    behaviour’ to imprison political dissidents, independent journalists and
    government critics,” said Javier Zúñiga.
    “It is a sad reflection of the state of the rule of law in Cuba, when
    people are convicted to prison terms not for what they have done but for
    what they might do.”
    On 4 September, local activists were arrested after they went to meet Mr
    Depestre at the Guamajal prison. They were later released.
    Articles 78 to 84 of the Cuban Criminal Code established that those
    convicted of “special proclivity to commit crimes” can be sentenced to
    between one and four years of re-education in “specialized work or study
    establishments” or sent to “a work collective”.

    Source: “Cuba must immediately release prisoner of conscience | Amnesty
    International” –
    http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/cuba-poc-ivan-fernandez-depestre-2013-09-11

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