Monday, September 05, 2011

Amnesty International Demands Release of Cuban Dissidents

Amnesty InternationalEleven members of a dissident organization and three of their relatives have been detained, without being told of any charges against them, since their arrest on 28 August in Cuba. They have not been allowed access to their families.

Eleven members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unión Patriótica de Cuba, UNPACU), an umbrella group of dissident organizations from the east of Cuba have been detained without charge since 28 August. Three other men, who are relatives of the detainees, are also in detention. According to relatives they are being held at a State Security facility on the outskirts of the city of Santiago de Cuba.

Twenty-seven members of UNPACU met at the house of Marino Antomarchit in the town of Palma Soriano, in the south-eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, to discuss the current crackdown against dissidents in the province.

Witnesses state that around 140 members of the security forces, including the National Revolutionary Police (Policía Nacional Revolucionaria), State Security and members of the prison service surrounded the house at 1pm.

Shortly afterwards, tear gas canisters were launched into the house, where Marino Antomarchit's two-year old daughter and 76-year-old mother were also present, causing nausea and coughing of those who were there. At 5:40pm, between 30 to 40 members of the security forces entered the house and reportedly beat the men and caused damage to the house. The 27 UNPACU members were arrested as were three relatives who had come to the house after the arrival of security forces. Sixteen of the men were released on 31 August, all without charge. Eleven of them remain incarcerated in overcrowded conditions and have not been allowed family visits.

Please Take Action here.

Also, more Ladies in White were arrested today in Cuba.

At least 10 Ladies in White, including one of their leaders, Laura Pollan, were arrested today in the central province of Matanzas.

Also re-arrested was Sara Marta Fonseca, who led a courageous protest on the steps of the Capitol building in Havana early last week. Fonseca is part of the Movimiento Feminista por los Derechos Civiles Rosa Parks (The Rosa Parks Civil Rights Feminist Movement).

Some of the others were Yaneris Perez Rey, Caridad Brunate, Mercedes Evelin, Teresa Castellanos, Rosario Morales, Mayra Morejon and Ivonne Mayesa.

Their crimes? Peaceful marching together, dressed all in white, as a form of civil protest, on their way to Mass.

Sooner or later the criminal Castro Brothers will be held accountable for their crimes against humanity.