14ymedio, Havana, 23 April 2021 — This Friday independent activists, artists and journalists again suffered another day of repression by State Security. Police surveillance, bans on leaving homes, and arbitrary arrests marked the day in Havana.
The reporter from the CiberCuba portal, Iliana Hernández, after spending 14 days under constant surveillance around her home in Cojímar, decided to go out this Friday. The journalist walked a few yards outside her home, along with a group of friends who were visiting her, but they were intercepted by a patrol and violently arrested.
The activist Thais Mailén Franco was able to broadcast part of the arrest live on her social networks. Also in the group were Odín Betancourt, Noria Pérez, Yasmani Martínez and Diosdado Villa. One of the videos shows the moment when Hernández is taken by force and put in a police patrol while shouting: “Down with communism! Homeland and Life! Repressors!”
Both Hernández and her friends were released at night in different parts of the capital, according to what she told 14ymedio. Everyone but her was fined 2,000 pesos “for contempt” and they intend to protest the penalty they consider arbitrary. “There was no contempt on our part, the only ones who attack are them, the repressors,” she denounced.
Hernández says that right now she has a severe pain in her arm, “they grabbed my arm so tightly that I still have tremendous pain,” she explained. When she arrived at the Cojímar unit, Lieutenant Kenia María Morales was waiting for her to allegedly accuse her of contempt, an accusation that however did not materialize.
On the same day, this Friday, activist Oscar Casanella was also arrested. Through a report on Facebook, the opponent denounced that he was traveling with his family in a vehicle when a policeman stopped them at the intersection of Zapata and Paseo streets. The officer reviewed their documents and took them to the Zapata y C Police Station where Casanella spent several hours in detention.
The reporters Héctor Valdés Cocho, Camila Acosta and Luz Escobar were also under surveillance this Friday to prevent them from leaving their homes.
For his part, the artist Amaury Pacheco, a member of the San Isidro Movement (MSI), condemned the police siege ordered by State Security on his social networks. “If, with this tool, I could open a hole in the wall, I would not be here now, digging inside my dirty brain, in search of some deposit … Juan Carlos Flores his poetry accompanies me. Alamar, Havana, Cuba, 2021,” Pacheco wrote.
Similarly, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara has been under surveillance for almost a month and for a week he has gone out every afternoon to demand the return of the works that State Security stole in the last raid on the headquarters of the San Isidro Movement. On each occasion he is arrested and released after several hours. In an audio that he shared with his followers, he expressed:
“Here we are still family, demanding my rights, insisting on my demands, which are $500,000 for my works, that the police apparatus stationed on the corners of my house cease, and an apology from the leader of this dictatorship, Miguel Díaz-Canel.”
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