Amnesty International called the hunger strike death of jailed Cuban activist Orlando Zapata Tamayo a “terrible indictment” of repression on the island and urged Cuban President Raul Castro on Feb. 24 to release all political prisoners. The London-based human rights group said “a full investigation must be carried out to establish whether ill-treatment may have played a part” in Zapata’s death on Tuesday after 85 days without food. It said Cuba must be investigated “to verify its respect for human rights.” In the Cuban government’s first comment on the case, state-run website www.cubadebate.cu said President Raul Castro expressed regret about Zapata’s death that he was neither tortured nor executed and suggested the United States was to blame. Paraphrasing Castro, the article reported Castro said the death “was the result of a relation with the United States.” (Reuters)

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