Cuban prison videos shed light on filth

March 15, 2012 at 8:00 AM

HAVANA, March 15 (UPI) -- Videos smuggled out of a Havana prison depict wretched living conditions, activists said.

Eleven videos from inside the walls of Havana's high security Combinado del Este prison, obtained by El Nuevo Herald, show walls covered in grime, dirty toilets and leaking sewage. The food was described as worse than animal feed, the newspaper said Thursday.

Dissident journalist Dania Virgen Garcia said the videos were shot in late January with a digital camera smuggled into the prison, which houses an estimated 5,000 inmates.

Human rights activist Elizardo Sanchez Santa Cru, who spent nearly three years in the prison, said Combinado del Este is one of the worst in Latin America because Cuba does not allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to inspect its prisons.

The newspaper said the filth and living conditions are almost unimaginable.

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