Cuba: Prisoner of conscience Hector Palacio Ruiz
Hector Palacio Ruiz, president of the Partido Solidaridad Democratico (PSD), and member of the national coordinating council of Concilio Cubano, was arrested on 9 January 1997. He was taken to the Technical Investigations Department in Havana, where he is reportedly being held in a cell with no light or ventilation. According to unofficial sources, he is to be tried on a charge of "disrespect". He had previously been arrested on 15 February 1996 and detained for several hours, in an earlier crackdown on Concilio Cubano. Amnesty International believes that he has been detained for the non-violent exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and association and is calling for his immediate and unconditional release as a prisoner of conscience.