Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

28 de Junio del 2000

ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTS ON CUBAN PRISONERS. Special to Cuba Free Press.

Miami. –The Associated Press is reporting from San Juan, Puerto Rico, that the Inter-American Press Society (IAPS) has announced that at least four jailed Cuban journalists are not being treated for serious illnesses while they are imprisoned. It is not common for the AP to report on Cuban prisoners. IAPS members are urging the Cuban government to release the journalists and immediately provide them treatment.

The AP says the prisoners are Joel de Jesús Díaz, Manuel Antonio González Castellanos, Victor Orlando Arroyo and Bernardo Arevalo Padron.

Diaz, in the Canaleta prison in Ciego de Avila province, in central Cuba, has one of the several hepatitis diseases, is running a high fever and gets no attention despite the fact that an epidemic is current in the jail.

Juan Carlos González Leyva, president of the Avileña Foundation for Human Rights, reports to Cuba Free Press that Diaz, founding president of the Independent Cooperative of Avilena Journalists (CAPI) is serving four years in prison for what the dictatorship calls "dangerousness." He is being kept in isolation as part of his punishment.

González Leyva said the hepatitis is in an advanced stage because of negligence of the jail’s physicians. The journalist developed a high fever on June 5 but it was not until June 12 that the doctors decided he was suffering from hepatitis instead of kidney problems. Even so, he received no treatment until his father, Odenicio Diaz visited the jail on June 19. The father said several other prisoners also are suffering from the disease.

González Castellanos is in a prison in the eastern province of Holguin and his family reports the journalist, suffering from a serious respiratory infection for more than two months, is getting no medical attention, according to the SIP. Family members fear that his illness will result in tuberculosis since TB has been detected in that prison. This prisoner was a correspondent in Holguin and is serving a sentence of 31 months on charges of "disrespecting" dictator Fidel Castro. He will complete two years of his sentence in October.

Human Rights Watch has reported that Arevalo is serving a six-year sentence in the Ariza prison in Cinefuegos province for disrespecting "authorities." He is one of those who has been beaten by prison officials, according to Human Watch.

Rafael Molina of El Nacional of Santo Domingo who also serves as head of the Freedom of the Press and Information Committee urged the Cuban authorities to provide medical treatment for the prisoners and aid failure to do so constitutes a violation of their human rights.


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