Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cuban Pro-Democracy Leader Tortured by Cuban Military Officials

As was done with Orlando Zapata Tamayo in 2010 Cuban officials deny water to Néstor Rodríguez Lobaina while he is on hunger strike

On February 15, 2011 Néstor Rodríguez Lobaina began a hunger strike on February 15, 2011 at the Guantanamo Combinado Prison to protest his continuing unjust incarceration that began on December 9, 2010. His brother, Rolando Rodríguez Lobaina, explained to the Cuban Democratic Directorate the circumstances of the hunger strike and how prison officials denied Néstor water:
"He explained to me that two days after initiating the strike and being in solitary confinement, Captain Yordis Cajigal Castillo, head of the prison, cut off his water supply. Six days of into the strike Yordis Cajigal Castillo and another represser known as "Jackie Chan", who serves as Chief Guard of Special Regime , both military and threatened to beat him. After ten days on strike returned the water, but by that time the nausea prevented him from drinking the liquid. But yesterday, March 1 at night he began to drink water and I convinced him to allow intravenous therapy."
A description of the events surrounding his arrest were briefly summarized by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) on January 24, 2011 in a precautionary measure it had issued and is reproduced below along with an explanation of its significance:
Precautionary Measures Granted by the Inter-American Commission during 2011

The mechanism for precautionary measures is established in Article 25 of the Rules of Procedure of the IACHR. The Rules of Procedure establish that, in serious and urgent situations, the Commission may, on its own initiative or at the request of a party, request that a State adopt precautionary measures to prevent irreparable harm to persons or to the subject matter of the proceedings in connection with a pending petition or case, as well as to persons under the jurisdiction of the State concerned, independently of any pending petition or case.

PM 13/11 - Néstor Rodríguez Lobaina and Family, Cuba

On January 24, 2011, the IACHR granted precautionary measures for Néstor Rodríguez Lobaina and his family, in Cuba. The request for precautionary measure alleges that on December 9, 2010, Néstor Rodríguez Lobaina was out walking with his 10-year-old daughter, Diana Rodríguez Castillo, when he was intercepted by agents of the political police. According to the request, the agents reportedly hit him with pepper spray and put him in a patrol car, leaving the girl by herself, 15 blocks away from home. The request adds that after being detained for 72 hours at the Department for State Security Operations in the city of Guantánamo, he was apparently transferred on December 12 to the Guantánamo Provincial Prison and that his family has not received any information about his state of health or about any treatment he may or may not be receiving for burns he allegedly suffered as a result of the pepper spray having hit him at close range. The Inter-American Commission asked the State of Cuba to adopt any necessary measures to preserve and guarantee the life and physical integrity of Néstor Rodríguez Lobaina and his family, and to allow access and health treatment and monitoring by a doctor trusted by him or by an international organization.

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