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Cuban Opposition Says Regime Arrested 402 Dissidents in April

Cuban Opposition Says Regime Arrested 402 Dissidents in April

HAVANA – The opposition Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National
Reconciliation on Thursday reported that the regime made 402 political
arrests in April, a "notable reduction" compared with March, although
Cuba continues to be in first place in Latin America in this type of abuse.

In a communique released in Havana, the panel headed by activist
Elizardo Sanchez said that the majority of the arrests of opposition
members in April were relatively short-term, often for less than 24 hours.

"Despite the notable reduction with respect to the previous month
regarding the number of politically motivated arbitrary arrests, the
Cuban government continues to remain in first place in all of
Ibero-America in this type of abuse," the commission of 1,158 arrests of
opposition members, many of them in the days before or during the visit
of Pope Benedict XVI.

Although in April the number of arrests declined, the figure is above
that registered in the same month in previous years, according to the
rights commission.

Among the most noteworthy arrests in April was that of former "Group of
75" political prisoner Jose Daniel Ferrer, "who was held for 27 days
without formal charges," the panel said.

The commission also said that so far in 2012 at least nine peaceful
dissidents were imprisoned "in high security centers, generally under
inhuman and degrading conditions."

The commission says that in Cuba there are between 150 and 200 prisons,
correctional centers, work camps and other internment sites "where
between 70,000 and 80,000 inmates languish, several thousand of whom are
absolutely innocent or have committed alleged or real minor crimes that
should not be punished" with jail.

The Cuban government considers dissidents to be counterrevolutionaries
and "mercenaries" in the service of the United States. EFE

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