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Former Cuban prisoner sues over alleged torture

Associated Press
Published October 19, 2003

MIAMI - A former Cuban political prisoner is suing Cuba for alleged torture before he was expelled in the 1980 Mariel boat lift.

Jose Ros claimed in the federal lawsuit that he was imprisoned in 1968 after joining a student group that protested Cuba's human rights record under President Fidel Castro.

Ros said the group Revolutionary Action had been infiltrated by a Cuban government agent, who was one of the officers who arrested him.

The lawsuit filed Thursday said Ros was a victim of electroshock at a Havana psychiatric prison with a special wing for political prisoners and was repeatedly beaten by Cuban security.

Ros named Eriberto Mederos as one of his torturers. Mederos was convicted last year of illegally obtaining U.S. citizenship by lying about his mistreatment of Cuban dissidents and died before sentencing.

On the day he was released from the Havana hospital, the lawsuit said Mederos told Ros, "You're going to remember me," and shocked him in the testicles. He went to prison afterward.

Ros said he was released in 1979 and forced to leave the communist island the following year.

Messages left with Ros' attorneys were not immediately returned Saturday. The switchboard at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington did not take messages.

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