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Prison Deaths In Cuba
Tuesday, April 12, 2005   By: Juan Paxety

A second man dies

A second man has died as a result of burns he received during a prison riot in Cuba. The riots occurred at Combinado del Este prison in Havana on March 19 and April 5. Reuters, through, reports:

Freddy Ibanez, 35, who died in a Havana hospital, was badly burned when rioting prisoners doused fellow inmates with gasoline as they set fire to mattresses on Tuesday.

The article goes on to quote Elizardo Sanchez, President of The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, who is calling for fidel to release information on the riots.  He says they have gone unreported in the Cuban press, and he fears more men may have died.

 "It is very probable that several more inmates have died in these incidents," he said in a statement.

The riots were in protest of transfers to remote island jails. Riots in castro's prisons are very rare.

Riot police used rubber bullets and tear gas to end the rioting in a wing of the prison where more than 4,000 inmates are being held, Sanchez said.

But many of those injured in the last riot, from burns and knife wounds, had been attacked by rioting prisoners for not joining the revolt, he said, citing relatives of the inmates.

 "There is much discontent in the prisons, above all in the high security ones, due to the subhuman conditions and bad food," Sanchez told Reuters. "There could be more riots."

Then there's the kicker.  The U.N. Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva is set to vote on Cuba's human rights record in a week or so. Cuba, of course, has representatives there.  What will the vote be?

More on the story from the Guardian.


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