January 3rd, 2012
02:29 AM ET

Rights group: Cuban prisoner dies during hunger strike

A Cuban prisoner who went on a hunger strike because he was not part of the government's recent mass pardon has died, a human rights leader said Tuesday.

The prisoner, Rene Cobas, died Sunday of a heart attack, after authorities at the Boniato Prison, near Santiago, disregarded a doctor's recommendation that he be moved to a provincial hospital, said Elizardo Sanchez.

Sanchez, who heads island's independent Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, said his group plans to investigate whether the military authorities at the prison were criminally negligent in their inaction.

Cobas had gone on strike immediately after President Raul Castro announced the latest round of amnesty on December 23. Cobas called the pardons "exclusive and limited," Sanchez said.

The decision to release 2,900 prisoners followed "numerous requests" from their family members and religious institutions, and was a humanitarian gesture, Castro said last month.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. ¤.¤

    Well, of course they were exclusive and limited...otherwise everyone would have been released, no? And how are the guards neglectful? You can lead a horse to water...what should they have done? Shoved the food down his throat? I don't know this guy's story, but I don't see how this is anyone's fault but his own. I am sorry for his family, though, sympathy to them.

    January 3, 2012 at 3:16 am | Report abuse | Reply

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