Sewn mouth opened, hunger strike ends

Aug. 7, 2008 at 3:54 PM

HAVANA, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- A Cuban political prisoner who sewed his mouth shut for a hunger strike was forced to eat when jailers undid his stitches, human rights activists say.

Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta, 42, is a journalist serving 20 years at the Holguín Provincial Prison after he was caught up in the 2003 crackdown on dissent.

He began a hunger strike July 18 to demand a transfer closer to his home in Guantanamo province, the Miami Herald reported Thursday.

Many Cuban political prisoners are doing time far from home, forcing long journeys by families to visit. Herrera's teenage daughter died in a car accident earlier this year while making the trip to visit him.

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