14ymedio, Havana, 28 October 2021 — The independent reporter Iliana Hernández, a collaborator of CiberCuba, was released on Thursday night after spending several hours in police custody. The activist was arrested at noon in Cojimar, a neighborhood east of Havana, when she was a few blocks from her home, family sources told 14ymedio.
After being released, the activist told this newspaper that they first took her to the Cojímar police station and then to the Altahabana police station in Boyeros, and almost the whole time she was “inside a patrol car.”
“I made a statement because I had two accusations of defamation, one that was filed by the delegate of my constituency and the other by the owner of the identity card who appeared at my house a while ago. They wanted to put a measure of home confinement on me but I told them that is a lack of respect and I did not sign the document, only the statement I made,” explained Hernández.
“I called the Cojímar unit but they told me that she had only been there for half an hour because State Security officials had transferred her to another place,” Hernández’s mother, Maricelis Cardosa, informed this newspaper after learning of the arrest.
The reporter was detained in a police car by officers as she was walking home from a visit to one of her neighbors. “There were two patrol cars, they were waiting for her, she hadn’t realized it but the agents were there when she turned the corner,” added Cardosa.
“She said to me, mamá, I’m going to visit my friend and she arrived safely but at the exit they intercepted her. My daughter does not tell lies nor has she committed any crime. They took her a block and a half from here, they took her because it gave them what they wanted, to intimidate the people so that no one comes out on November 15,” she denounced.
Hernández, who has Spanish citizenship as well as Cuban, is also “regulated” by the authorities, with a travel ban that prevents her from leaving the country. She was one of the hunger strikers who held a protest at the headquarters of the San Isidro Movement last November and since then has lived under constant harassment from State Security, which closely monitors her home with police operations to prevent her from going out on the street.
In recent days, Hernández was able to leave her house two or three times, but episodes such as this afternoon show that the surveillance on her continues. The reporter has also had her telephone line and mobile data service cut off for long periods of time without ever receiving a response from the telecommunications monopoly Etecsa.
The director for the Americas at Amnesty International, Erika Guevara denounced the arrest of Hernandez as “arbitrary detention.” For her part, the activist Thais Mailén Franco, who was imprisoned for almost five months after her participation in the Obispo street demonstration, wrote on her networks: “return Iliana Hernández to the people.”
The activist Saily Gonzalez also denounced the arrest, writing: “Iliana Hernández has been kidnapped a few minutes ago. But Iliana is not alone. We are all very aware and already reporting, increasingly sure that these atrocities cannot continue to happen. in Cuba.”
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