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Cuba Dissident Wilman Villar Reportedly Dies After Hunger Strike

01/19/12 11:53 PM ET   AP

HAVANA — A prominent Cuban government opponent says an imprisoned dissident who went on a hunger strike to protest his four-year sentence has died.

Dissident Elizardo Sanchez heads the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation and says 31-year-old Wilman Villar died Thursday night of pneumonia in the eastern city of Santiago.

Sanchez has been in contact with Villar's family and says the prisoner had been hospitalized for a couple of weeks after pursuing his hunger strike for 50 days.

Villar was arrested Nov. 12, convicted of disrespecting authority and resisting arrest, and sentenced to four years. He protested his sentence by stopping eating.

Correction: The headline on this piece incorrectly reported the name of the dissident who died. Wilman Villar reportedly died following a hunger strike.
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Filed by Clare Richardson  |