Monday, March 22, 2004

Cuba: A free press is an insult to Castro

Aracelis Hernández Duarte, lawyer for jailed dissident journalist José Agramonte Leyva, says an additional charge of insulting Fidel Castro has been levied against her client.

Agramonte Leyva has been jailed in Camaguey since February 4 for allegedly breaking windows in a super market, although his lawyer says he was out of town at the time.

Agramonte Leyva's mother, Zoila Leyva Naranjo, said she recently saw her son for 10 minutes. "He's very thin," she aid. "He told me that he sleeps on the floor without a mattress and that he has to do without the most basic necessities, like adequate clothing, cleaning supplies and food."

Agramonte Leyva is director of an independent library project in Camaguey and a reporter for the Lux Info Press news agency.

There were no details given of the alleged insult to Castro.

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