Prison officials forcibly open hunger striker’s mouth

HAVANA, Cuba, August 5 (Yudelmis Fonseca Rondón , – Officials at the Playa Manteca Prison in Holguín province forcibly removed the stitches sealing the mouth of hunger striker Juan Luis Rodríguez Desdín, a political prisoner, according to a human rights advocate.

Martha Díaz Rondón of the Human Rights Council of Cuba said State Security agents instructed prison officials in the removal of the stitches so he could be force fed. Rodríguez Desdín, 35, went on the hunger strike July 29, but Díaz Rondón didn’t say when the authorities ended the strike.

Rodríguez Desdín, who was sentenced to two years in May, was demanding a transfer to another prison and protesting prison policy of limiting telephone calls to five minutes a week.

He had been released from prison last year after serving a three-year sentence for crimes against the state.