Monday, May 09, 2011

Activists: Cuban police beat dissident Juan Wilfredo Soto García to death

From fellow FREEDOM fighter Uncommon Sense:

Cuban dissident Juan Wilfredo Soto García died early this morning, less than three days after police brutally beat him.

Soto, 46, a former political prisoner known as "The Student," was sitting in a Santa Clara park on Thursday when police ordered him to leave.

"They started to beat him, and from there they took him to the hospital," said independent journalist Guillermo Fariñas.

Soto was later released but then had to be readmitted, this time in intensive care.

Fariñas said dictator Raúl Castro is guilty of Soto's murder, noting how Castro last month said the right of Cubans to "defend the revolution" against opposition would never be denied.

Soto suffered from heart and kidney failure, hypertension, diabetes, gout and other diseases, and the official cause of death was listed as pancreatitis. However, his niece noted that there was bruising in the kidney region of his body.

"His family knows that he died from beatings, and there are witnesses" to what happened, said opposition activist Idania Yanez Contreras.

Numerous activists accompanied the family to a funeral home. Outside, secret police agents were keeping watch on the activities, according to reports.

Fariñas said Soto would be buried at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Soto was first jailed as a 17-year-old high school student on a charge of "sabatoge of social property" — when he earned his nickname. An activist with the Central Opposition Coalition, Soto also was imprisoned twice on charges of "enemy propaganda."


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