Marta Beatriz Roque

Marta Beatriz Roque Cabello is an influential economist and author, Director of the Institute of Independent Economists, whose health in a Cuban prison is now in grave danger. Arrested in March this year as part of Cuba’s ongoing incarceration of independent journalists, Roque was initially threatened with a life sentence but this was reduced to twenty years at a hearing in May. She was charged under law 88, which prohibits acting against the independence of the territorial integrity of the state. She was arrested while on hunger strike in support of people she considered political prisoners. Roque already suffers from rheumatism and has reportedly lost 3o lbs since June due to health problems including vomiting and diarrhoea. On July 23 she was transferred to a hospital suffering from chest pains and nose bleeds brought on by high blood pressure. She was diagnosed as diabetic in August 2003.

It is the second time this courageous author has served time for her writing. She was released in May 2000 after serving three years of a four year sentence for her co-authorship of a document which urged the Cuban government to hold democratic elections, liberalise the economy and improve human rights. But when she returned home she found it empty as her belongings had been taken during her imprisonment.

Please write appeals to:

Minister of the Interior

Ministerio del Interior

Plaza de la Revolucion

La Habana, Cuba

or to any Cuban Diplomatic Representative accredited to other countries or to the Cuban Representation

c/o United Nations Mission

New York NY 10016 US

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