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Jailed Cuban Dissident Ends Hunger Strike

Jailed Cuban Dissident Ends Hunger Strike

HAVANA – Cuban dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer has ended the hunger strike
he launched to protest his arrest early this month, his wife told Efe on
Friday.

Coinciding with the end of the fast, Cuban authorities formally charged
the detainee with creating a public disturbance in the eastern city of
Santiago de Cuba on April 2, when he was taken into custody along with
other government opponents, Belkis Cantillo said.

Ferrer, the leader of the outlawed Patriotic Union of Cuba dissident
group who had begun the hunger strike on Monday, received notification
from the authorities of the "public disorder" charge.

Cantillo added that when she visited him at the detention facility he
told her not to obtain an attorney for him.

Ferrer, among a group of 75 dissidents rounded up and sentenced to
lengthy prison terms in a 2003 crackdown, was released a year ago on
parole following a Spanish-supported dialogue between President Raul
Castro's government and Cuba's Catholic hierarchy.

The dissident is one of 12 Group of 75 members who refused to travel to
Spain as a condition of his release.

In recent months, the 41-year-old Ferrer had been briefly detained in
Havana and the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, where he lives, but
subsequently released on both occasions without charges.

Amnesty International had adopted all of the Group of 75 as prisoners of
conscience and Havana came under international pressure to release them
after one member, Orlando Zapata, died following a lengthy hunger strike
in February 2010.

But the Castro regime says there are no political prisoners on the
Communist-ruled island and does not acknowledge the existence of an
authentic internal opposition, instead referring to these individuals as
"mercenaries" at the service of the United States. EFE

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