Amnesty and HRW call for release of Cuban independent journalist infected with COVID-19 in prison

Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are calling for release of independent journalist Esteban Rodriguez, who now has COVID-19 after being imprisoned by the communist Castro dictatorship.

Via Martí Noticias (my translation):

Esteban Rodriguez held at La Covadonga with COVID-19: HRW and Amnesty International demand his release

Political prisoner and independent journalist Esteban Rodriguez has COVID-19, and for that reason he was transferred on Tuesday from the Guanajay maximum security prison in Artemisa to Havana’s Salvador Allende Hospital, La Covadonga.

Sanitary conditions at La Covadonga are horrible, said activist Jose Tomas Fernandez recently. He too has caught the coronavirus. “I was finally able to get out of that hell I was in with three hundred cockroaches all over my bed,” he said on June 14.

Journalist Hector Luis Valdes Cocho told Radio Martí that Esteban Rodriguez’s wife received a call on Wednesday from a regime official at the prison ward of La Covadonga. He told her Rodriguez has COVID-19, although he’s asymptomatic.

Jose Miguel Vivanco, Americas director for Human Rights Watch, also reported that the journalist has COVID-19 and demanded his immediate release.

“He has been imprisoned since April 30 for taking part in a peaceful protest,” on Obispo Street in Havana, said Vivanco.

Erika Guevara-Rosas, the Americas director for Amnesty International, said on Twitter: “The government of Diaz-Canel told the family that he has tested positive for COVID-19. We demand his release!.”

Continue reading (in Spanish) HERE.