Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

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Declaration on the death of a Cuban political prisoner


The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses its deep concern over the death of a Cuban political prisoner and prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

On 23 February 2010 Orlando Zapata Tamayo (aged 42), one of the group of 75 Cuban prisoners of conscience arrested during the Black Spring in March 2003, died as a result of an 85-day hunger strike in a hospital in Havana. Zapata was one of more than two hundred dissidents and political opponents of the current Cuban regime, who have been imprisoned in Cuba.

The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs is deeply concerned by this event and expresses its deep condolences to the family and relatives. The MFA calls for a proper investigation of this case.

The MFA renews its calls on the Cuban government to release all political prisoners, especially those, whose health condition has worsened as a result of the imprisonment, to step up efforts towards the ratification and implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Cuba has signed in 2008, and to end persecution of those, who by peaceful means strive for human rights and democratic changes in the country.