Saturday, June 12, 2010

Wheel-chair bound dissident gains conditional release

Ariel Sigler, a political prisoner who looked so emaciated in a January video that his Florida relatives called him a "cadaver," is expected to be freed, AFP reports.

I wrote about Sigler's case in the April issue of CubaNews, see above.
Sigler was arrested during the March 2003 crackdown on dissidents, independent journalists and others. His health declined while in prison.
Sigler was transferred to a Havana hospital more than a year and a half ago and remained in custody there. His relatives say he can't walk. They saw video taken of him after prison officials released him for a few hours so he could attend a wake for his mother.
The Catholic Church, which has been pushing for the release of political prisoners who are in poor health, announced Sigler's expected release.
Note on Sigler's sentence. I've seen conflicting information on Sigler's sentence. My CubaNews story says he received a 25-year term. That may be wrong. This sentencing document shows he got 20 years, not 25.

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