Alina Barbara Lopez and Jorge Fernandez Era Are Again Harassed by Cuban State Security

The professor denounces mistreatment during her unjustified detention

Cuban professor and historian Alina Bárbara López Hernández / Facebook

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 18 April 2024 — Cuban State Security harassed professor Alina Bárbara López Hernández and Jorge Fernández Era again this Thursday. The professor was detained for several hours at the Playa police station in Matanzas, according to what she herself said shortly after returning home, in a message in which she denounced the mistreatment she suffered from the authorities.

López Hernandez was detained without explanation or any order at the Bacunayagua checkpoint, between Matanzas and Mayabeque.

Given the agents’ refusal to give a reason other than that they were following orders, the professor refused to get into the patrol car. “Then three female officers grabbed me by force to get me in. In the strong struggle I was hit in the face, head, arms, and I also defended myself emphatically. Whoever dares to restrain me by force, without a clear arrest warrant or a convincing explanation, they should know that I will always defend myself,” she stated forcefully.

López Hernández also details how they forced her into the vehicle, physically preventing her ability to move and causing damage to her right shoulder, in addition to taking her phone. “When I felt hot and short of air, I asked them to roll down the windows so I could breathe. They refused and I first started kicking the window,” she adds, specifying that this reaction is also normal if she receives that treatment.

When they arrived at the police station, she was in a room from 11 am to 5:30 pm, until a doctor attended to her at her insistence and, later, she spoke with a criminal instructor, whom she recognizes as Yordanys, who gave her a warning notice, which she did not sign. “I was not charged. What we talked about I will explain in detail tomorrow. Now I am going to rest and tomorrow go to the hospital to treat my shoulder,” she concluded her message.

The news of her arrest had been announced by her daughter, through the social networks of the Matanzas historian herself. The daughter reported that, “She could only tell me that and that she would call me in a few minutes. She didn’t, so I waited 30 minutes and started calling her again and she didn’t answer her cell phone. They have her incommunicado and deprived of her freedom (which has now been returned to her after the fine was collected),” the young woman explained. For hours the whereabouts of López Hernández were unknown, until Lafita indicated which police unit she was in, in addition to stating that her daughter was on the way with her lawyer.

Meanwhile, in Havana, activist Jorge Fernández Era was under siege by political police agents in his home, after holding a peaceful protest in Central Park. According to the Cultural Rights Observatory, a State Security agent “tried to intercept him” on the street, but the activist managed to reach his home, at the door of which a plainclothes guard remains stationed.

Just a year ago, Alina Bárbara López demonstrated peacefully on the same day of each month, with the aim of exercising “a constitutional right in a country without political rights.”

Last January, the teacher’s appeal to her sentence to pay a fine of 7,500 pesos for the crime of disobedience was rejected.

This Thursday’s arrest is the most recent episode of harassment that includes the prohibition of leaving the country, harassment that began in 2022, after achieving, in an unprecedented way, getting State Security to annul a summons that had been issued to her after the authorities censored a young artists event.


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