Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dead Dissident's Mom Harassed, Cuban Opposition Says

Dead Dissident's Mom Harassed, Cuban Opposition Says

HAVANA – A group comprising relatives of political prisoners said they
will ask Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega to mediate with the island's
government to stop the harassment of Reina Tamayo, mother of deceased
dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

"We're going to ask the cardinal to intercede on Reina's behalf," the
spokeswoman of the Ladies in White, Laura Pollan, told reporters here

A week ago government supporters harassed Reina Tamayo, barring her from
going to mass in the eastern town of Banes and from visiting the grave
of her son who died Feb. 23 in jail after an 85-day hunger strike,
according to Pollan.

"They struck last Sunday (Aug. 9) and we can't let this continue," she said.

"How is it possible that here in Havana we can walk (the Ladies in White
hold a silent march every Sunday) but she can't go out, she can't go to
church or go to the cemetery afterwards to pay tribute to her son?" she

The harassment of Tamayo is "too great a violation of her rights, not
only of human rights, but of the rights of the family, women's rights,"
Pollan said.

"We women and all the non-governmental organizations that fight for
women and the family are going to speak out with one voice to demand an
end to the harassment of Reina," she said. "Our voices won't stop as
long as they keep harassing her."

Pollan made her statement after the Ladies in White's usual Sunday march
after attending Mass in Santa Rita parish.

The Ladies in White includes relatives of the 75 government opponents
rounded up and jailed in the crackdown of March 2003.

Since their imprisonment, about a score of the "Group of 75" have been
paroled on medical grounds and President Raul Castro's government is
about midway through the process of releasing the rest.


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