Cuba: Journalists transferred to hospital

On 14 September 2007, the Cuban journalist Normando Hernández González was moved from Kilo 7 Prison in Camaguey to the Carlos J Finlay Hospital in Havana. Hernández González, the youngest writer to have been arrested following the 2003 crackdown on dissidents, is currently suffering from gastrointestinal malabsorption syndrome and a number of other life-threatening diseases. According to our information, he is now receiving some medical attention and regular meals, but is still extremely thin and in a great deal of pain.

The sudden transfer came a day after Costa Rican legislator Jose Manuel Echandi Meza filed a petition with the UN High Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland, arguing that the Cuban authorities’ denying him proper medical attention constituted torture.

While we warmly welcome the fact that Normando Hernández González is finally receiving medical attention, we join with many other independent organisations around the world in calling on the Cuban authorities to now grant him release on medical grounds. It is clear that his several severe medical conditions will never truly improve if he is returned to prison, and thus call on the authorities to authorise his release for longer term treatment as a humanitarian matter as soon as possible.

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On the same day as Hernández’ transfer, 14 September, two other journalists were moved to Combinado del Este prison hospital due to their declining health: Julio César Gálvez Rodríguez (freelance reporter) and Ricardo Severino González Alfonso (president of the Manuel Márquez Sterling Journalists Society, Reporters Sans Frontiers correspondent, director of De Cuba magazine and librarian).  

Please send appeals:

  • Welcoming the transfer of journalists Normando Hernández González, Julio César Gálvez Rodríguez and Ricardo Severino González Alfonso to hospital; 
  • Urging the government to release Normando Hernández González immediately on humanitarian grounds to allow him access to the conditions and medical care necessary for his recovery, in line with the UN Declaration of Human Rights Article 5 concerning torture or cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment and the Convention Against Torture to which Cuba is party
  • Calling for the government to take steps towards the unconditional release of all other journalists, writers and librarians currently detained in Cuba in violation of their right to freedom of expression enshrined in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

Address of the Cuban representative in London:

His Excellency René J. Mujica Cantelar

Embassy of the Republic of Cuba

167 High Holborn

London, WC1 6PA

 

To read two poems written by Normando Hernández González and translated into English by Susana Medina, please click here.

Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/bulletins/cubajournaliststransferredtohospital/

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