Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cuban Dissident Freed Hours After Violent Arrest

Cuban Dissident Freed Hours After Violent Arrest

HAVANA – Prominent Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas was released
without charges several hours after his "violent" arrest in the central
city of Santa Clara, his family and colleagues said Monday.

Fariñas was headed for church on Sunday together with a group of 10
opposition members when "three (police) patrol cars blocked their way
and the cops began to push and shove them inside," Ramon Jimenez,
spokesman for the dissident group United Anti-Totalitarian Forum, told Efe.

"The police were violent with them and Guillermo was treated worst of
all," Jimenez said.

Fariñas' mother Alicia Hernandez confirmed Monday the account of her
son's detention and said that, after returning home around 7:30 p.m. on
Sunday, he had to go to the doctor "because he was in a lot of pain."

The 49-year-old psychologist and independent journalist went on a hunger
strike last year for more than four months following the death of
opposition prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo, to demand the release of
political prisoners suffering severe illnesses.

Guillermo Fariñas, recipient of the European Parliament's 2010 Sakharov
Prize for the defense of human rights, was arrested briefly on several
occasions this year, the last time in mid-September during a wave of
detentions of dissidents in Santa Clara and other towns in central Cuba.

According to the opposition Cuban Commission on Human Rights and
National Reconciliation, the Communist government has intensified the
"interior repression" against dissidence over the last month, and
estimates that 380 people were arrested for political reasons in
December. EFE


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