UPDATED, Dec. 25, 2011 — Abel López Pérez released from prison, four months after his parole had been revoked.
UPDATED, Aug. 26, 2010 — Abel López Pérez, suffering from hepatitis B, hypertension and kidney problems, was released from prison Aug. 18 on medical parole.
UPDATED, March 25, 2009 - Abel López Pérez has been sent back to prison for 6 years on charges of assault and "disrespecting" Fidel Castro.
UPDATED, Nov. 27, 2008 —Abel López Pérez has been granted a medical parole, suffering the effects of a 39-day hunger strike.
When considering the situation in Cuba, accept that desperate times sometimes require desperate actions — even if we cannot understand the desperation that might cause Cubans suffering under tyranny to do things we could never imagine.
I concluded that when considering the most recent news about political prisoner Abel López Pérez.
Human rights activist Juan Carlos González Leiva, himself a former political prisoner, reports that López, 37, recently used a wire to sew his mouth shut to protest the lack of adequate medical care and otherwise poor living conditions at a prison camp in Guantánamo.
Imagine the desperation it takes for a man, already suffering from a variety of health ailments, to commit such a desperate act.
López's guards responded by transferring him to the Combindado de Guantánamo prison, the most severe in the region.
Compounding the cruelty of the transfer is that the authorities know how sick. López, who had been imprisoned since November 2005 for "disrespecting" Fidel Castro, had last year been granted an early release from his 3-year sentence because of his poor health.
Officials revoked the parole this past April, after López, the president of the Martiana Resurgence Movement, traveled to Havana to meet with European diplomats.
Soon afterwards, a prison guard revealed the dictatorship's plans for López:
"You are going to die here."
A desperate moment, indeed.
One of the surest indicators of the repressive nature of the Castro regime is the jailing of political prisoners. To illustrate that reality, Uncommon Sense each week profiles one prisoner. There also is a Political Prisoner archive on the right sidebar. To suggest a prisoner for a profile, send me an e-mail at email@example.com
For profiles of imprisoned Cuban journalists and related information, read the March 18 Project.