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Cubans offer prayers for release of prisoners of conscience

.- Dozens of Cubans opposed to the Castro government gathered in Havana this week to offer prayers for the release of political prisoners being held in the country.

The gathering was organized by Yolanda Triana, whose husband Orlando Alvarez is one of the 75 dissidents sentenced to lengthy prison terms last year.

Family members of other political prisoners, opposition leaders and a priest from the Orthodox Church participated in the prayer service as well, calling for respect for human rights and freedom for prisoners of conscience.

Triana, who after her husband’s arrest assumed leadership of the Pedro Luis Boitel Association of Political Prisoners—an organization that is considered illegal by the Castro government—expressed her profound concern about the state of her husband, who has been on a hunger strike since April 15.

She said her 47 year-old husband had suffered a heart attack before he was imprisoned and that during the last year he has been diagnosed with diabetes.  She also revealed that her husband suffers from hypertension and stomach ulcers and that last December he underwent surgery to relieve an intestinal obstruction.

Triana said she recently sent a letter to Prison authorities explaining her husband’s situation.

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