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Subject: Saving a Librarian's Life: Emergency Appeal
From: Robert Kent <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:BIBLIST - Topics in Nordic research library user services <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 3 Oct 2005 09:18:28 EDT

text/plain (34 lines)

Dear colleagues:

According to a report published on Sept. 27, Victor Rolando Arroyo, an 
independent Cuban librarian serving a long prison sentence, is near death due to a 
prolonged hunger strike. Arroyo is the director of the Reyes Magos Library in 
Pinar del Rio Province and an independent journalist. He is serving a lengthy 
prison term following the Cuban crackdown on dissidents in March 2003. Victor 
Rolando Arroyo is on a hunger strike to protest harsh prison conditions. He has 
been declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International; the European 
Union, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders 
have recently issued appeals on his behalf. 

Last week Victor's wife, Elsa Gonzalez Padron, was allowed to see him for two 
minutes in the prison hospital. She found him to be delerious, but he did 
finally recognize her and said: "It's going forward; there is no turning back 
until they recognize my rights." When Elsa Gonzalez Padron asked to have her 
husband transferred to a  hospital room, a prison doctor reportedly told her: "If 
he wants to die, let him die."

The Friends of Cuban Libraries are appealing to librarians around the world 
to take action to save the life of Victor Rolando Arroyo. We respectfully urge 
you to send appeals about Victor Rolando Arroyo to Mr. Felipe Perez Roque, the 
Cuban Minister of Foreign Relations. Please ask him to ensure that physicians 
will intervene to save Victor's life. The Cuban government is sensitive to  
international publicity, so your humanitarian appeal could make the difference 
between life or death.

E-mail messages to Mr. Perez Roque can be sent to: 
([log in to unmask]). His fax number (calling from the U.S.) is: (011-53-733-3085).

Thank you,

The Friends of Cuban Libraries

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