Three Activists Arrested During Visit of Pope Francis Are Released / 14ymedio

Activists arrested during Pope Francis’s Mass in the Plaza of the Revolution (frame of a video)
Activists arrested during Pope Francis’s Mass in the Plaza of the Revolution (frame of a video)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 9 November 2015 – This Monday afternoon the three activists arrested during Pope Francis’s visit were released. Zaqueo Baez Guerrero and Ismael Bonet, members of the Patriot Union of Cuba (UNPACU), and the Lady in White Maria Josefa Acon Sardina, were released pending trial as corroborated by 14ymedio in a telephone call from one of those released.

For nearly 50 days, the three dissidents had been held at the police station known as 100 y Aldabó in Havana, for approaching the bBishop of Rome on his arrival at the Plaza of the Revolution in the capital, on 20 September.

Within hours of the arrest, Baez managed to communicate with the leader of his organization, Jose Daniel Ferrer, who told the press: «Zaqueo told me that he managed to make it to where the Pope was and to tell him the truth and to shout ‘Freedom!’.”

During the first days of imprisonment, two of the regime opponents went on a hunger strike, but later they ceased to fast. UNPACU maintained a strong campaign for their release under the slogan «The three who reached the Pope,» which included marches in the east and other cities in the country.

The activists were charged with the offenses of assault, disrespect, public disorder and resisting arrest, according to what was detailed by family members who were able to visit them during their confinement.