Police Burst into Cubalex Headquarters / 14ymedio
14ymedio, Havana, 23 September 2016 — The headquarters of Cubalex, The
Center of Legal Information, located in the Havana municipality of
Arroyo Naranjo, was searched by National Revolutionary Police (PNR)
officers and State Security agents on Friday, as confirmed to this
newspaper by the independent journalist Osniel Carmona.
After two in the afternoon, the police burst into the site which is also
the home of independent attorney Laritza Diversent. Until after five in
the afternoon all the phones of Cubalex members remained out of service
and access to the house was restricted by the security forces, according
to what this newspaper was able to confirm.
Seven people were inside the home at the time the search started, among
whom were Ariadna Romero, Yamara Curbelo Rodríguez, María Bonet, Teresa
Perdomo, Amado Iglesias, Diego Ricardo and Laritza Diversent herself.
During the morning Laritza Diversent had informed 14ymedio that there
was a operation "organized by State Security agents and the police"
around the house. She explained that several neighbors advised her of
the presence of "buses and patrol cars," so she feared they would
eventually get inside the house.
T"a report on the status of freedom of expression in Cuba" that she
presented "to the special rapporteur for freedom of expression" in the
city of Geneva "in mid-August."
"We feel that we are now at risk and are calling all our contacts asking
for help so that the world knows that right now our office and our
organization are at risk," the attorney warned by phone.
The activist Kirenia Yalit Núñez, a member of Cubalex who is just a few
blocks away, explained that the agency "had a judicial order but Laritza
rejected it because it wasn't valid." However, a little later "they
broke into the house with a crowbar and broke several locks."
After six in the evening the activist Teresa Perdoma was released and
she said that they had threatened Diversent with an accusation of
"illicit economic activity." The police also warned that they would take
"all the equipment, like computers, flash memories and hard drives."
She was arrested in the operation and taken to the Dayan Perez Noriega
police station, where she tried to send Twitter messages reporting what
happened. The other activists remained in the building until eight
o'clock on Friday night. Two police patrol cars guarded the entrance.
The Legal Information Center, Cubalex, is an independent entity that has
provided free legal advice since 2011. The lawyers' group also focuses
on Human Rights issues. In July of this year Cuba's Ministry of Justice
rejected the application for legal status presented by its members.
Source: Police Burst into Cubalex Headquarters / 14ymedio – Translating