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Case Information: orlando Fundora Alvarez
Orlando Fundora Alvarez
DATE OF BIRTH:July 6, 1955
COUNTRY:Cuba
PROFESSION:Medical Doctor
DATE OF ARREST:March 2003
STATUS:Conditional release from prison on medical grounds
 

Summary and Current Status

 

Orlando Fundora Alvarez is a 49-year-old surgeon and president of the unofficial ‘Pedro Luis Boitel’ Political Prisoners Association in Havana.  His wife, Yolanda Triana Estupiñán, is director of a private library and an active dissident.  He reportedly lived in the United States for some 10 years and was imprisoned for two years following his illegal return to Cuba in 1991.  In recent years, Dr. Fundora and his wife reportedly have been subjected to frequent harassment by the government, including short-term detention, interrogation and violent attacks on their home by government-incited groups (“rapid response brigades”).

 

Dr. Fundora was arrested in March 2003.  At a trial on April 7, 2003, that failed to meet international standards for fairness, he was convicted of acting against “the independence or the territorial integrity of the State” (Article 19 of the Cuban Penal Code).  He began serving his 18-year prison sentence in “Combinado del Este” prison in Guanabacoa municipality in Havana province.  Amnesty International adopted him as a prisoner of conscience.

During his incarceration, Dr. Fundora’s health deteriorated dramatically.  He reportedly suffered from heart disease, hypertension, and bleeding stomach ulcers.  In August 2003 he was operated on at the prison’s hospital, for hemorrhoids and anal thrombosis, and was returned to his cell shortly thereafter.  In September 2003, after he experienced bleeding and severe pain, Dr. Fundora was taken back to the prison’s hospital.  He remained hospitalized there until November 2003 when he was transferred to the JulioTrigo Hospital in Havana for a second operation followed by a period of convalescence.

On June 18, 2004, Cuban authorities unexpectedly granted Dr. Fundora medical parole and released him from prison, after serving 15 months of his prison sentence.  Officially, his release is conditional upon a lack of improvement in his health.  If the Cuban authorities were to deem that there has been an improvement in his health, Dr. Fundora could be returned to prison to serve the remainder of his lengthy sentence.

Related Links

Eight Cuban Colleagues Remain Imprisoned (3/8/2005)

Continued Imprisonment of 8 Cuban Colleagues (12/1/2004)