An inmate in a Cuban prison was beaten by guards days before he
died from what authorities later described as pneumonia, according to
complaints sent by fellow prisoners to a human rights commission in Havana.
"The reports are not conclusive but this man died in circumstances
that merit attention … in government custody," said Elizardo Sánchez
Santa Cruz, head of the illegal but tolerated Cuban Commission for Human
Rights and National Reconciliation.
Sánchez said the dead prisoner, Salvador Ferrer Rodríguez, was
serving a sentence in the Quivicán prison on the outskirts of Havana for
a common crime, but there's no further information on his personal
background or his legal case.
His commission received telephone calls from a half a dozen other
Quivicán prisoners "insisting that he was the victim of a beating" by
guards, Sánchez said. Ferrer was taken to a hospital and authorities
later told prisoners that he died Sunday from pneumonia.
Juan O. Tamayo
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