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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 2 Hansard (24 February) . . Page.. 694..


MR COE (continuing):

Mr Tamayo was one such prisoner named in the Amnesty report which supported his release. The Miami-based Directorio Democratico Cubano states that, after years in prison:

In October, 2009, Zapata Tamayo was brutally beaten by military personnel at Holguin provincial prison, causing an internal hematoma in his head so severe that Zapata Tamayo had to undergo surgery. He began his hunger strike on December 3, 2009, at the Kilo 8 prison in Camaguey, classified in Cuba as employing a "maximum severity"prison regime. For 18 days, Major Filiberto Hernandez Luis, the prison's director, denied Zapata Tamayo drinking water, the only thing he was ingesting during the strike. The effect of this act of torture was to induce kidney failure. In mid-January, he was transferred to Amalia Simoni Hospital in the city of Camaguey, where he was left to languish nearly completely nude under intense air conditioning, causing him to contract pneumonia.

This tragic situation has sparked much criticism of the Castro regime. Democratic US Senator Bill Nelson said today, "Freedom-loving people everywhere should hold the Cuban regime responsible for the fate of Orlando Zapata Tamayo."Republican US Senator Le Mieux said, "He spoke out against the regime's brutal authoritarian practices, knowing that by doing so he risked imprisonment, or worse."

The Castro regime should release all prisoners of conscience. Whilst we in Canberra are a long way from Cuba, I encourage everyone to lend their voices to this worthwhile cause. My thoughts go to Mr Tamayo's mother, Reina Luisa Tamayo Danger, and other family members as they come to terms with this loss. I also bring to the Assembly's attention that Ariel Sigler Amaya and Normando Hernandez Gonzalez are also Cuban prisoners of conscience and are in extremely poor health.

I encourage listeners and readers of this speech to visit www.directorio.org to find out how they can take action to help end the terrible oppression that exists in Cuba. The International Young Democrat Union, of which I am on the board, has a freedom campaign dedicated to Cuba. To find out more about this, people should contact my office or visit www.iydu.org.

Ovarian Cancer Australia

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (9.18): I rise during the adjournment debate to bring attention to the fact that today is the day that Ovarian Cancer Australia has asked people across Australia and particularly politicians to wear their teal ribbons. Of course, this is to raise awareness around ovarian cancer. I note that a number of members of the Assembly have worn their ribbons today.

Ovarian Cancer Australia is a not-for-profit organisation. It is a national organisation that provides support and advocacy for people affected by ovarian cancer. It does some very important work in supporting women and their families who are touched by this disease. Unfortunately, one in 70 Australian women will develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime and each year more than 850 Australian women will lose their battle with ovarian cancer. That equates to one woman every 11 hours.


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