Torture in Cuba
February 2010
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Cuban Democratic Directorate Condemns Murder of Orlando Zapata Tamayo by
Castro Regime
By Cuban Democratic Directorate

Miami. February 23, 2010. Cuban Democratic Directorate. Orlando Zapata
Tamayo, a valiant defender of the liberty of the Cuban people, died
today, murdered by the Castro regime which refused to guarantee respect
for his basic rights. An Amnesty International prisoner of conscience,
Zapata Tamayo engaged in a hunger strike of over 80 days to demand such
a guarantee and to protest against terrible mistreatment he suffered in
the Communist regime's prisons, including brutal beatings. Zapata
Tamayo, who will be remembered as a giant of the Cuban resistance, had
been unjustly imprisoned since March 20, 2003.

"The abuses committed against Orlando Zapata Tamayo prove that torture
and terror are inflicted upon the Cuban people are official policy under
the Castro regime. His death is evidence of the practice of state
terrorism," stated Janisset Rivero, Adjunct National Secretary of the
Cuban Democratic Directorate.

In October, 2009, Zapata Tamayo was brutally beaten by military
personnel at Holguin provincial prison, causing an internal hematoma in
his head so severe that Zapata Tamayo had to undergo surgery. He began
his hunger strike on December 3, 2009, at Kilo 8 prison in Camagüey,
classified in Cuba as employing a "maximum severity" prison regime. For
18 days, Major Filiberto Hernández Luis, the prison's director, denied
Zapata Tamayo drinking water, the only thing he was ingesting during the
strike. The effect of this act of torture was to induce kidney failure.
In mid-January, he was transferred to Amalia Simoni Hospital in the city
of Camagüey, where he was left to languish nearly completely nude under
intense air conditioning, causing him to contract pneumonia. Despite his
critical health condition, the regime transferred him to the hospital at
Combinado del Este prison, which did not have the equipment and
conditions necessary to treat him.

The Cuban Democratic Directorate also underlines that this crime joins a
long list of atrocities committed by the Castro brothers which include
thousands of executions by firing squad and countless cases of unjust
imprisonment of Cuban citizens.

Additionally, Cuban prisoners of conscience Ariel Sigler Amaya and
Normando Hernández González are also unjustly imprisoned and in terrible
health. Their cases require prompt support and solidarity from Cubans
around the world and the international community.

"They finally murdered Orlando Zapata Tamayo. They finally finished him.
My son's death has been a premeditated murder. I thank all of those
brothers who struggled not to allow my son to die. There has been
another Pedro Luis Boitel in Cuba," stated Reina Tamayo Danger to the
Cuban Democratic Directorate. Boitel was a Cuban student leader who was
unjustly imprisoned by the Castro regime and died after a prolonged
hunger strike in 1972.

The Cuban Democratic Directorate condemns this horrendous crime. We
raise our voice to call for the condemnation of the Raúl Castro regime
and those directly responsible for the death of this human rights
defender for committing this crime against humanity.

Zapata Tamayo's death will not be in vain. It will illuminate the path
of Cuba's civic resistance until the Cuban people achieve their freedom.

Cuban Democratic Directorate Condemns Murder of Orlando Zapata Tamayo by
Castro Regime | Directorio Democrático Cubano (24 February 2010)

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