Opposition Leader José Daniel Ferrer Released / 14ymedio
14ymedio, Havana, 22 December 2016 — José Daniel Ferrer, general
coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unpacu), was arrested on
Thursday around one in the afternoon when he left the organization’s
headquarters in the city of Santiago de Cuba, and released about 40
minutes later, as reported in a phone call to 14ymedio from Omar Fayut,
a member of the opposition organization. Ferrer was taken in a bus,
handcuffed, to the third police station in the city of Santiago de Cuba
and then released, without further explanation.
The activist denounced that since the death of former President Fidel
Castro “many members of the movement have been harassed” by the
political police who maintain a cordon around Unpacu’s headquarters.
Last Sunday, some hundred members of the UNPACU were arrested when
they tried to march to the shrine of El Cobre to demand the release of
political prisoners. Most of the detainees were released after a few
hours, but nine remain imprisoned.
Minutes before his arrest, Ferrer had denounced on Twitter that
activists Ovidio Martín, Samuel Leblan, Juan Salgado, Yasmani Magaña,
Belkis Cantillo and Moraima Díaz, among others, continued to be detained.
Carlos Amel Oliva, a member of Unpacu, maintains that “the threat is
constant” and that since Monday the headquarters remains besieged with
police officers “stationed on the corners.” The young man explains that
the soldiers “put up fences to prohibit the access of any type of vehicles.”
The arrests and police cordons are in addition to the searches of at
least 13 houses of Unpacu activists.
The last report of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National
Reconciliation (CCDHRN) said that during last November there were at
least 359 arbitrary arrests of peaceful dissidents on the island. That
is roughly one hundred fewer than in October but the independent
organization warns of possible repression after the death of former
President Fidel Castro on November 25.
Source: Opposition Leader José Daniel Ferrer Released / 14ymedio –
Translating Cuba –