Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Orlando Zapata Tamayo, May 16, 1967 - February 23, 2010

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, Cuban human rights activist and prisoner of conscience, who had been on a hunger strike for 82 days. May he rest in peace.

What follows is a BBC News account:

Cuban political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo has died in hospital after 85 days on hunger strike.

Mr Zapata, 42, had been transferred to a Havana hospital from a smaller clinic in the central province of Camaguey after his condition worsened on Monday.

Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience after his arrest in March 2003 in a crackdown on opposition groups.

He had been refusing food in protest at jail conditions.

Mr Zapata, whose family announced last week that he was seriously ill, died on Tuesday in Havana's Hermanos Ameijeiras hospital.

His death marks the first time in nearly 40 years a Cuban activist starved himself to death to protest against government abuses.

The last political prisoner to die on hunger strike in Cuba was Pedro Luis Boitel, a poet and student leader, in 1972.

'Better future'

Mr Zapata's mother, Reina Luisa Tamayo, told the Miami newspaper El Nuevo Herald by telephone that her son had been "murdered" by Cuba's authorities.

"They managed to do what they wanted," she said. "They ended the life of a fighter for human rights.''

Laura Pollan, a dissident from the group known as Ladies in White, told the BBC: "He wasn't a murderer. He wasn't a thief. He wasn't a rapist. He was simply a young man who wanted a better future for Cuba."

Mr Zapata was among a group of some 75 dissidents jailed by the authorities in 2003. He was initially sentenced to three years in prison, but this was increased to 25 years in subsequent trials.

Cuba's illegal but tolerated Human Rights Commission says there are about 200 political prisoners still held in Cuba, about one-third less than when Raul Castro took over as president from his brother Fidel.

But if anything harassment of dissidents has increased over the past year, the group says.


1 comment:

Pablo Felipe Pérez Goyry. Editor y Analista Sociopolítico Independiente [Contextus] said...

¡YO ACUSO DE HOMICIDA, A LA DICTADURA CASTRO CUMUNISTA!

Amigas y Amigos: Ha muerto en una mazmorra de la dictadura castro-comunista, el preso de conciencia cubano Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

Una vez más, el terrorismo de estado y el absolutismo visceral de una dictadura prehistórica y demencial ha cobrado otra vida de un opositor al régimen castrista.

Orlando Zapata, es otra victima del castrismo, ha fallecido ayer 23 de febrero de 2010 en La Habana, Cuba, después de más de tres meses en huelga de hambre en reclamo a que se le trate como un preso político.

¡YO ACUSO DE HOMICIDA, A LA DICTADURA CASTRO CUMUNISTA!

Los hermanos Castros y los cómplices son asesinos, porque sistemáticamente niegan que en la isla existan presos políticos. Orlando Zapata Tamayo es un ejemplo de sí hay presos políticos en la hondura de las mazmorras castro-comunista y que están en peligro de tener el final de Tamayo, porque están sometidos a torturas y a las puertas de la muerte.

Todos los cubanos, incluyendo los amigos del régimen, saben que en Cuba se castiga por pensar diferente, que el gobierno persigue y coacciona a los que luchan por la libertad y la democracia en el archipiélago cubano.

En estos tristes momentos para todos los cubanos y los defendedores de la libertad y la democracia, comedidamente quiero hacerles llegar a Doña Reina Luisa Tamayo, madre de Orlando Zapata Tamayo, y a los familiares y amigos la solidaridad y condolencias, así como el acompañamiento en el dolor, por la muerte del ser querido.

Reciban un abrazo fraternal y los mejores pensamientos.

¡¡Abajo la dictadura castrista!!

¡Libertad para los presos políticos en Cuba!

¡No más silencio cómplice!

Por Pablo Felipe Pérez Goyry
Editor y Analista Socio-Político
Contextus
http://contextuspablofeliperezg.blogspot.com/2010/02/yo-acuso-de-homicida-la-dictadura.html