Dissidents in Cuba
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February 2006
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Call for release of journalist after prison doctors say he is incurable in prison

Call for release of journalist after prison doctors say he is “incurable
in prison”

Reporters Without Borders, 15 Feb., 2006.

Reporters Without Borders called for the immediate release of José
Ubaldo Izquierdo Hernández, jailed since the March 2003 crackdown, and
whose prison doctors have said his state of health is incompatible with

“The condition of José Ubaldo Izquierdo Hernández requires care that
cannot be provided in jail, the prison doctors have recognised it
themselves”, said the press freedom organisation.

“The journalist’s recovery calls for him to be freed immediately, or
failing, that to be granted a release on licence for health reasons. We
hope that the Cuban authorities will respond favourably to this
humanitarian request”, it added.

Doctors meeting in Havana on 9 February 2006 confirmed that Izquierdo
Hernández’s condition in Guanajay prison in Havana province had
seriously deteriorated over the past nine months, the Cubanet news
agency reported.

Gastroenterologist Dr Vazquez found lesions in the stomach while
carrying out an endoscopy on the journalist. The specialist detected a
stomach inflammation and recent gastro-intestinal bleeding and
recommended a strict diet.

Once informed of the specialist’s diagnosis, Dr Miriela Gómez Rodríguez,
head of medical services at Guanajay prison told the journalist that he
could not be treated in prison. The doctor prescribed a treatment to
“ease an inflammation of the gastric mucus”. “That’s all we can do”, he

Izquierdo Hernández, 40, was arrested on 18 March 2003 and sentenced to
16 years in prison. The former head of an independent library in Güines,
Havana province, where he originates from, was working before his arrest
for the Grupo de Trabajo Decoro news agency. Two other dissident
journalists, who worked for the same agency, have also been in jail
since 2003 : Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez and Omar Moisés Ruiz Hernández,
sentenced respectively to 20 and 18 years in prison. A third member of
the Grupo de Trabajo Decoro, Oscar Mario González Pérez, has been held
without trial since 22 July 2005.


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