Ladies in White

Opponents Denounce Arrests And “Social Cleansing” Before The Pope’s
Visit / 14ymedio
Posted on September 19, 2015

14ymedio, Havana, 18 September 2015 — The Cuban Commission for Human
Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) expressed Friday in a
statement its “deep indignation and concern about the operation of
‘social cleansing’ that the government has developed in recent days” in
Havana, Holguin and Santiago de Cuba. The spokesman for the
organization, Elizardo Sanchez, stressed that thousands of paupers,
beggars, bums, mentally ill and other wandering homeless people, in
their great majority elderly people who have no place to live, have been
interned before the Pope’s visit, that begins tomorrow.

The communication argues that the objective of “social cleansing”
undertaken by the secret political police is to put these people out of
sight of pilgrims, foreign journalists and other visitors. The
organization stresses that the internments have been executed without
judicial order and without disclosing the whereabouts of the victims.
The CCDHRN asks the Pope to intervene for their immediate release.

The executive secretary of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), Jose
Daniel Ferrer, has also circulated a message to publicize the arbitrary
arrests of peaceful opposition within hours of the arrival of Pope Francisc.

Ferrer says at least two members of his organization, Alberto Valle
Perez and Walter Reinosa Morales, were arrested yesterday in Havana, as
well as Roberto Ferrer, a member of Independent and Democratic Cuba
(CID) arrested with violence on La Palma, Arroyo Naranjo.

According to the UNPACU leader, in Santiago de Cuba and Holguin there is
strong vigilance and mobilization of Interior Ministry troops, “ready to
act against peaceful activists, defenders of human rights.”

The leader of the Ladies in White, Berta Soler, has reported the
detentions of some 17 members of the organization in Santiago de Cuba,
Bayamo, Santa Clara and Pinar del Rio “to avoid” their attending the
Masses that will be celebrated by the Pope on the island.

Among the detainees are the activist Leticia Ramos and her husband.
Antonio Rodiles, director of Estado de SATS opposition group, has
contacted their family and has said through his Twitter account that
they are “confined in a room riddled with cockroaches.”

Source: Opponents Denounce Arrests And “Social Cleansing” Before The
Pope’s Visit / 14ymedio | Translating Cuba –

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