EFE/14ymedio, Havana, 21 March 2016 – At least a dozen government opponents were arrested this Monday in Cuba, according to the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN), which also identifies nearly 90 political prisoners on the island.
Among those arrested for the second day are the leader of the Ladies in White, Berta Soler, and some members of that women’s group, along with her husband, former political prisoner Angel Moya, according to Elizardo Sanchez, spokesman for the CCDHRN, the only group regularly documenting such incidents in Cuba.
Also on Monday the arrest of Antonio González-Rodiles, who heads the independent Estado de Sats (State of Sats) project, along with his partner, activist Ailer González, near their home, a family source confirmed.
Elizardo Sanchez said his group is trying to specify the number of arrests on the island since Sunday, when US president, Barack Obama arrived in Cuba.
That same day, some 60 dissidents were arrested several hours after the Ladies in White’s habitual Sunday march.
With regards to the number of political prisoners in Cuba, Sanchez said he currently has in his record to 77 prisoners convicted for political reasons plus one who is serving a sentence of house arrest.
He explained that that group adds the 11 released under a “furlough,” a legal concept that does not annul the sentences imposed during the crackdown of the “Black Spring” of 2003 that led to the jailing 75 dissidents on the island.
Cuban President Raul Castro denied on Monday that there are political prisoners in the country, in the press conference he gave in Havana with President Obama.
Castro challenged a journalist to present a list of political prisoners and assured him that if they really existed they would be freed that very night.
“Give me the list of political prisoners to release them now,” Castro said in answering the reporter’s question.