14ymedio, Havana, 2 November 2016 — The arbitrary arrests of peaceful dissidents in Cuba marked the highest figure in the last three months in October, with 620 cases, according to the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation’s (CCDHRN) monthly report, released Wednesday. The report also cites 17 physical assaults, 39 acts of police harassment and three instances of “repudiation” by the secret political police and vigilante groups.
“The repressive actions in recent months are indicative of a visible and unstoppable deterioration of the situation of civil and political rights and other fundamental rights in Cuba, despite the countless gestures of goodwill towards the regime that has ruled the island for nearly 60 years,” laments the document. “Meanwhile, the vast majority of the Cuban people continue to survive amid a lack of freedom, poverty and despair,” it.
In the first 10 months of 2016, 9,125 arrests were registered, a figure that exceeds the totals for each of the last six years. The CCDHRN is led by Elizardo Sanchez, who predicts that this year’s final count of arbitrary arrests will exceed 10,000 cases.
The CCDHRN mentioned the secret political police raid of October 21 on the home and office of a legal aid center in Pinar del Rio, also the site of the newsletter Panorama Pinareño, sponsored by the Cuban Institute for Freedom of Expression and the Press (ICLEP).
The report also addresses the threats against the Catholic layman Dagoberto Valdes, director of the Center for Coexistence Studies (CEC) of Pinar del Rio, which publishes a magazine with the same name.