Thursday, August 30, 2012

In Truth

In Truth / Cuban Law Association, Wilfredo Vallin Almeida
Cuban Law Association, Translator: Unstated, Wilfredo Vallin Almeida

For a moment I thought it would pass without incident, that the funeral
procession would arrive without mishap to the Columbus Cemetery and the
remains of the winner of the Sakharov Prize for Human Rights, Oswaldo
Paya Sardinas, would be laid to rest in peace.

From my place in the long line of vehicles, perhaps because we had 16
or 17in the column, we noticed that something happened at the head of
the line, which stopped without those in the back knowing exactly
happened. Several minutes later the march was resumed.

Upon arriving at the cemetery and realizing the absence of Antonio
Rodiles, director of Estado de SATS and friends traveling with him, I
inquired about them. So I knew what had happened: a great fight in
Calzada del Cerro, with the violent intervention of the police with
fists and truncheons, and the arrest of about fifty people, all
opponents of the regime, and put in a bus belonging to the Armed Forces,
that just happened to be there, they were taken to police unit Tarara.

Once back in my house, I prepared to go in search of the missing, when
Antonio's mother called and told me that, apparently, he and other
friends were detained at the Fourth Police Station at Infanta and
Manglar in neighborhood of Cerro. I told them I would meet her and her
husband, already there.

Again we started to run up against those who say the country's laws, the
members of the Department of State Security.

On reaching the station of the People's Revolutionary Police (PNR), no
one outside yet knew what was going on. I decided to find out if Antonio
and other friends were really there. I talked to the duty officer, with
a rank of Major. He looked for a paper he had and told me THESE PEOPLE

I then told him they could have been brought to this police station by
State Security Agents. He made a call. After hanging up he confirmed to
me that yes, they were detained there.

The reasons why the political police had brought many of the arrested to
the national police stations instead of taking them to one of their own
facilities, are not very obvious, although there are many versions. What
is clear to us is that Article 244 of the Criminal Procedure Act provides:

Upon the arrest of any person a written report to record the time, date
and reason for detention as well as any other particular of interest
shall be prepared. The report will be signed by those acting and the

When, about ten o'clock at night, the independent journalist Julio
Aleaga was released, we learned they never filled out an Act of
Detention. Nor was this done with Ailer González Mena or many other

When they did it, in the morning for Antonio Rodiles, the Act of
Detention tried to justify the arrest as "in the interest of CI"

I could be wrong, but I think this latter was due to our having already
pointed out to the PNR and State Security officials with whom we spoke
precisely about the absence of such Acts, making the arrests illegal and
saying that the detainees should be released immediately.

From the beginning there were two things that were obvious to all of us
citizens who met in front of the police station in solidarity with the

1) That the PNR of that station was not very pleased with what happened
there. The treatment of its officers toward us was measured, correct,
without being overbearing, never disrespectful and tried all the time to
find a solutions that was, as far as possible, without violence and in a
negotiating framework.

We can not say the same for the State Security agents involved.

2) The level at which decisions were made regarding what happened there
was always elsewhere, much higher, and where the regulations established
in a simple little article of the Criminal Procedure Act do not seem to
have, in truth, any relevance.

August 24 2012

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