Julio César Gálvez Rodríguez

Profession: freelance journalist

Details of arrest: arrested as part of a crackdown on alleged dissidents that began on 18 March 2003 and in which around 80 people were detained. 

Details of trial: one of 34 journalists, writers and librarians sentenced during the one-day trials held on 3/4 April 2003 under laws governing the protection of the Cuban state. The one-day court hearings were held behind closed doors and it is reported that there was insufficient time for the accused to put together a cogent defence.

Sentence: 15 years

Health concerns: Reported in a letter dated 21 July 2003 that he had been diagnosed as suffering from severe cervical arthrosis. Reported in March 2004 to have been transferred to the Celestino Hernández Robau hospital in Santa Clara suffering from high blood pressure and kidney stones. Transferred back to prison on 9 July 2004 after four months of post-operative recuperation. Reported to have been handcuffed and beaten by his ‘re-educator’ before being moved. On returning to the prison, Gálvez spent some time in a punishment cell. His wife, Beatriz del Carmen Pedroso, appealed for parole on medical grounds on behalf of her husband but this was turned down by the authorities. Moved from Santa Clara Provincial Prison, Villa Clara, to Combinado del Este Prison, Havana, in August 2004. Gálvez’ wife reported in March 2005 that he was suffering from arthrosis, a degenerative disease of the joints, and high blood pressure. On 14 September 2007 Gálvez was transferred to the military hospital at Combinado del Este prison. He is said to have developed serious respiratory problems while in prison. In 2008, it was reported that he remained ill at Combinado del Este prison where he was only allowed to see his family once a month.

Further information: In December 2008 it was reported that he continues to write from prison.
Honorary member: English PEN

Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/honorarymembers/cuba/juliocsarglvezrodrguez/

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