Arrests of Cuban Activists "Notoriously Greater" in November

The CCDHRN highlights that among the activists arrested last month was Yasmani Ovalle León, a member of Unpacu. (Screen capture)

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14ymedio, Havana, 3 December 2018 — The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) reported that there were “at least 247 arbitrary arrests of peaceful opponents for purely political reasons” in November, according to its latest report released Monday. The independent organization suggests that the figure may be higher due to “the opacity with which the repressive forces act.”

In the report, the CCDHRN points out that the number of arrests of activists is “notoriously greater” to those that took place during the month of October, in which 202 of these violations of citizens’ rights were documented.

Among the civil society organizations that suffered the most arbitrary arrests are the Ladies in White, the United Antitotalitarian Front (Fantu), the Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unpacu) and the OZT (Orlando Zapata Tamayo) Civic Action Front.

The Commission warns of two new political prisoners: Unpacu members Carlos Elvis Pérez Torres sentenced to three years for the charge of “Pre-criminal Social Dangerousness” and Yasmani Ovalle León, pending trial.

For its part, the Cuban Observatory of Human Rights, based in Madrid, denounced that the political police arrested numerous activists who are calling for citizens to vote “No” in the upcoming referendum on the revised constitution.

The entity, which counts 210 arbitrary arrests, warns about “the consequences of the new package of regulations that the Government of Miguel Díaz-Canel intends to put into effect in December.”

Among the new laws that are now in force, Decree 349 is included, which “imposes severe governmental controls on artistic creation and dissemination in private spaces,” as well as “other rules that limit even more the work of the self-employed in sectors as critical as transportation.”

According to the Observatory, “These measures reflect the reactionary spirit that dominates the government of Diaz-Canel, who does not know how or does not want to make life easier for citizens.”

The Observatory’s executive director, Alejandro González Raga, harshly criticized the attitude of the Spanish president Pedro Sánchez during his visit to the island, for having “an agenda completely alienated from human rights.”


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