Washington, DC – IRI is saddened by the death of Cuban activist Wilman Villar Mendoza, who passed away yesterday.  The 31-year old human rights advocate was arrested last November after participating in a public march to peacefully call attention to human rights abuses on the island.  Following his arrest he was quickly sentenced to four years in jail.  Villar Mendoza immediately went on a hunger strike to protest the ruling and his incarceration. 

IRI laments the loss of another courageous Cuban who was determined to speak freely and demand basic human rights.  His story once more calls attention to the total absence of freedom in Cuba.

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