There Were Close to 3,000 Arbitrary Arrests in Cuba in 2018, According to CCDHRN

The activist Hugo Damián Prieto Blanco was tried for the crime of “precriminal dangerousness.” (Courtesy)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, January 2, 2018 — In 2018 there were 2,873 arbitrary arrests counted in Cuba, some 240 each month, according to the report published this Wednesday by the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN). The independent entity condemns the harassment of activists who only “tried to exercise elemental civil and political rights.”

The report also includes data from December and confirms “at least 176 cases of arbitrary arrests, generally of a short duration” during the last month. The majority of the arrested were peaceful members of the opposition.

CCDHRN additionally documents “49 cases of police harassment against an equal number of opposition members and two cases of physical aggression against anti-totalitarian activists, ordered or executed by agents of the secret political police.”

The entity publishes a partial list of political prisoners, between “130 and 140 people” interned “under cruel, inhumane, and degrading conditions” in some of the 150 prisons and internment camps on the Island, specifies the text.

“Every month they release a small number of political prisoners and intern a somewhat higher number of opposition figures,” reveals CCDHRN. For example, it details that in the last month of December the activists Hugo Damián Prieto Blanco, Carlos Rafael Aguirre Lay, Omar Portieles Camejo, Glenda Lovaina Pérez, and Edilberto Arzuaga Alcalá were imprisoned.

Amnesty International and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have indicated that Cuban law punishes, with sentences of one to four years in prison, citizens for a supposed crime that they have not yet committed, according to articles 73 to 84 of the Penal Code.

According to the independent lawyer Laritza Diversent, the persons sanctioned under this legal concept “are not proven to have committed a crime [since] authorities, protected by subjective criteria and ideological parameters, judge that their conduct must be reformed.”

Translated by: Sheilagh Carey


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