March 11th, 2010
08:28 PM ET

Dissident hunger striker hospitalized in Cuba

Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas was hospitalized Thursday for the second time since starting a hunger strike on February 23, his doctor said.

"He fainted just a short while ago and we took him to the hospital," Ismel Iglesias Martinez, his personal doctor, told CNN by telephone. "He is in intensive care. His life is not at risk."

Farinas vowed to starve himself to death unless 26 ailing political prisoners were released by the Cuban government.

He also launched the strike to honor Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a jailed dissident who died last month after an 80-day hunger strike to demand better prison conditions.

Cuban state media published an article earlier this week saying it won't give into pressure and blackmail and described Farinas as a common criminal, not a political dissident.

Farinas lives in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara.

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