Public Reaction Against Arbitrary Arrest in Cuba Goes Viral / 14ymedio

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 27 March 2016 – The arrest of a Cuban woman who demanded respect for human rights has gone viral on social networks. Allegedly filmed in the Cerro district of Havana, the video, just over a minute long, shows the moment when the woman is led to a patrol car and the reaction of the neighbors when the police try to silence her demands; she also shouts for “respect for the Ladies in White” and the end of “the Castros’ dictatorship.”

Three uniformed officers from the People’s Revolutionary Police (PNR) and a woman in a suit from the Ministry of the Interior, lead the detainee to the police car. At that moment she shouts “Down with the dictatorship of the Castros!” The two officers try to force her into the car, a practice that has become frequent in repressive actions.

At that moment we can see how popular anger explodes and several neighbors come to the defense of the woman. With cries of “abusers,” and “no beatings” and “not this,” the citizenry reacts against police violence and causes confusion among the officers, who remained exposed to the cries of the people as they are filmed by various electronic devices.

The increase in cameras and cell phones has allowed such documentation, circulating clandestinely across the country and shared on the social networks that collect evidence of the arbitrary arrests against activists and defenders of human rights in Cuba. The video shown here has already been viewed more than 230,000* times in just few hours.

According to the latest report of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN), the only organization that keeps a record of arrests and other acts of repression on the island, in the first two months of the current year there were at least 2,555 arrests for political reasons.

Translator’s note: The posting of the video on Facebook, as of this morning, has more than 600,000 views. UPDATE: 30 March – The video now has 1.1 million views.