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Media Rights Groups Concerned About Health of Imprisoned Cuban Journalist


Two media rights groups are voicing concern about the health of jailed Cuban journalist Victor Arroyo Carmona, who began a hunger strike two weeks ago to protest his treatment in prison and is now hospitalized.

The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said Friday that Arroyo refuses intravenous nourishment and is extremely dehydrated. The group said Cuba's government does not stop at silencing independent journalists and lets them die slowly in what the organization called dreadful prison conditions.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said Arroyo's wife, Elsa Gonzalez, learned of the hunger strike from relatives of other jailed dissidents and is still waiting for Cuban officials to authorize a visit with him.

The journalist was among 75 dissidents and independent journalists rounded up in March 2003 in a Cuban government crackdown. He was sentenced to 26 years in prison. Fourteen people have since been released.

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