More than 100 dissidents arrested in Cuba while heading to Mass
Published September 08, 2015 EFE
About 140 Cuban dissidents were arrested Tuesday as they were going to
attend a Mass at the Lady of Caridad del Cobre Church to celebrate the
feast day of the island’s patron saint, sources within the dissident
movement told EFE.
“Most of the arrests occurred in the early morning hours (on Tuesday)
some kilometers from the El Cobre Church, at a spot known as La
Tanqueta” in eastern Santiago de Cuba province, said the general
coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, or UNPACU, opposition group,
Jose Daniel Ferrer.
In all, some 120 UNPACU members were arrested along with about 20 women
affiliated with the Ladies in White dissident movement, according to
Ferrer, who said that the Cuban authorities’ motive was to “prevent them
from attending the traditional Mass for the feast day of the patron
saint of Cuba.”
Ferrer, a former political prisoner with the so-called “Group of 75”
opposition figures sentenced to lengthy prison terms during the Black
Spring of 2003, said that some of the dissidents were beaten when they
He said he had verified that the majority of the activists with his
group have already been released by the authorities, although he had not
been able to confirm the status of about a dozen. He said that all the
Ladies in White who were apprehended have been released.
According to the latest monthly report released by the Cuban Commission
for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, last August there were at
least 768 temporary political arrests on the communist island, the
highest monthly figure so far this year, and 21 cases of physical
aggression during those arrests.
The Cuban government, meanwhile, considers dissidents to be
“counterrevolutionaries” and “mercenaries.” EFE
Source: More than 100 dissidents arrested in Cuba while heading to Mass
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