Desde Dentro de Cuba.
Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org
04 de Febrero del 2000
JESUS JOEL DIAZ HERNANDEZ, INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST, REMAINS JAILED IN THE HARSHEST OF PRISONS. By Pura Castilla Palmero, Cuba Free Press.
Ciego de Avila.- Jesus Joel Diaz Hernandez, 25, founder of the Avilena Union of Independent Journalists and former collaborator with "Agencia Patria" (Fatherland Agency) has been sentenced to four years of prison, of which he has served more than one in a prison said to be one of the harshest.
His crime was "dangerousness" for being an independent journalist. He was first arrested Dec. 18, 1998 and brought to trial the next day without his family having been advised of his arrest. He was convicted and immediately sent to prison. His lawyer had only 20 minutes before the trial to read the charges against Diaz.
At his appeal which immediately followed the trial, his lawyer again had no time to prepare and his sentence was ratified.
He has been kept in isolation for more than one year in a very humid cell with little ventilation, making it likely he will contract tuberculosis. He is, however, in good spirits. He has great inner strength, still struggling for his ideals and convictions. He has gone on several hunger strikes, which has damaged his kidneys and caused him to lose much weight. Nevertheless, he has mostly recovered.
He has been awarded a prize by the New York Organization of Protection for Journalists. Perhaps someday, if he is released from prison he can accept his prize in person. His dissident colleagues say he deserves any prize he earns because of his courage and tenacity.
Pura Castilla Palmero, Cuba Free Press.
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