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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Death of Cuban Dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo


Press Statement
Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
February 24, 2010

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On Tuesday, February 23, 2010, prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo died following an eleven-week hunger strike. We are deeply saddened to learn of his death, and the U.S. Government extends its heartfelt sympathies to his family, friends, and supporters. Zapata was arrested in 2003 on charges of “contempt for authority.” While in Havana last week, the U.S. delegation for Migration Talks raised Zapata’s incarceration and poor health with Cuban officials and urged them to provide all necessary medical care.

Mr. Orlando Zapata Tamayo’s death highlights the injustice of Cuba's holding more than 200 political prisoners who should now be released without delay



PRN: 2010/208

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