Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Political Arrests on Rise in Cuba, Opposition Says

Political Arrests on Rise in Cuba, Opposition Says

HAVANA – The opposition Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National
Reconciliation said Monday that in December there have been 388
temporary detentions for political reasons in Cuba.

"We are very disturbed by the increase of what is called 'low intensity'
political repression consisting of being kept in custody for hours, days
or weeks," Elizardo Sanchez, spokesman for the illegal but tolerated
commission, told foreign correspondents.

"We have absolutely confirmed – up to yesterday, Dec. 18 – 388
detentions for political reasons, many of them violent," he said.

Sanchez said that the political, economic and cultural situation and
that of civil rights in Communist-ruled Cuba "continue to deteriorate."

As an example of his complaint he presented the case of Henry Perales,
who appeared at the same press conference to report that he was
violently arrested and jailed by police together with a group of
dissidents when they tried to carry out a peaceful march on Dec. 2 in
the eastern town of Palma Soriano.

Perales, 27, said that he and his friends were beaten by security agents
and, in his case, by the driver of the bus they put him in.

"When I got on (the bus) I yelled 'Long live human rights!' The driver
had a tool in his hand, he struck me with it and when I called him a
murderer he hit me again," Perales said.

He said police took him to a medical post where he was given nine
stitches to close the wounds caused by the blows. Afterwards he was
jailed for nearly five days and was later released without charges.

Perales said he intended to present a "formal accusation" against the
bus driver, and Sanchez confirmed that the commission will aid the
dissident in his efforts to obtain justice. EFE


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