14ymedio, Havana, 7 March 2017 — The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) has denounced the death of political prisoner Hamel Santiago Maz Hernández, an activist from UNPACU, who died* on February 24 at Combinado del Este prison in Havana. The opponent had been imprisoned for eight months without trial for the alleged offense of contempt.
The CCDHRN has released its report for the month of February in which it says that “there have been thousands of cases of Cubans killed in government custody,” a situation for which the authorities bear all the “moral and legal responsibility.”
The report includes the 482 arbitrary arrests of dissidents last month, a “slightly higher figure than in January.”
The CCDHRN also documented 16 cases of physical aggression and 18 of harassment, “by the secret political police and para-police agents,” with the victims being peaceful opponents, adds the report.
The report includes the 482 arbitrary detentions of dissidents last month, a “slightly higher figure than in January”
The text clarifies that, given “the closed nature of the regime that has ruled Cuba for almost 60 years,” it is “impossible to record the thousands of violations of fundamental rights” that occur throughout the island each month.
Nevertheless, it reports that the Ladies in White and the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) are once again the organizations most repressed. In the case of the women’s organization, they have been “subjected to humiliations and other abuses” over and over. For its part, 54 members of the UNPACU “are political prisoners, most of whom remain imprisoned without formal charges or pending trial.”
During 2016, the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) documented 9,940 arbitrary detentions. This figure “places the Government of Cuba in the first place in all of Latin America,” according to the independent organization.
*Translator’s note: Cuban State Security informed his wife that he died of a heart attack.