More Than a Hundred Activists Arrested in Santiago de Cuba / 14ymedio

José Daniel Ferrer, leader of UNPACU (14ymedio)
José Daniel Ferrer, leader of UNPACU (14ymedio)

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14ymedio, Santiago de Cuba, 15 March 2015 — On Sunday morning over one hundred activists, mostly belonging to the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) and Citizens for Democracy (CxD), were arrested while trying to reach the Sanctuary of Cobre. Among those arrested was Jose Daniel Ferrer, executive secretary of the UNPACU and former prisoner of the Group of 75.

José Daniel Ferrer told 14ymedio that since last Friday organization members started moving towards the Sanctuary of Cobre, so the political police mobilized in the street from that time to prevent them from reaching the Catholic church.

This Sunday, starting at dawn and coming from various parts of Santiago de Cuba, more than 130 activists headed to the Sanctuary of Cobre in order to ask the Virgin of Charity, patroness of Cuba, for the release of all political prisoners.

Only 19 managed to reach the Sanctuary and just over a hundred were retained in the Control Point on the Highway to Cobre, said Ferrer. At that point the political police identified the private trucks transporting the activists and prevented them from continuing their journey, in collaboration with uniformed members of the National Revolutionary Police (PNR).

After noon, this newspaper was able to confirm that most of the activists had been released including opposition leader José Daniel Ferrer.

UNPACU has denounced being victims, over the past 30 days, of over 400 arbitrary arrests.