Unión Patriótica de Cuba

Prominent Cuban dissident released after brief detention

Prominent Cuban dissident released after brief detention
Published May 11, 2012

Havana – Prominent Cuban dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer has been released
in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba after being held for 29 hours.

Ferrer told Efe Thursday by phone from his home in the town of Palmarito
del Cauto that he was arrested the day before in Havana and later
transferred to police facilities in the eastern cities of Las Tunas and
Santiago de Cuba.

The illegal but tolerated Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National
Reconciliation said earlier this week that Ferrer was arrested while en
route to the Czech Embassy in the capital to "access the Internet."

At the time of his release at midday Thursday, authorities in Santiago
de Cuba reminded him that his movements were being restricted because he
still is subject to "legal proceedings and has a trial pending" for
leading street protests early last month, the government opponent said.

"Since leaving me at my house in Palmarito (near Santiago de Cuba), a
police car has been parked outside," Ferrer said.

The head of the outlawed dissident group Patriotic Union of Cuba was
held in custody for 27 days in April in Santiago de Cuba for creating a
"public disorder" and is currently awaiting trial on that accusation. He
held a brief hunger strike while behind bars to protest his arrest.

Ferrer was among a group of 75 government opponents rounded up and
sentenced to lengthy prison terms in the Black Spring crackdown of 2003.

After Spanish-backed talks between the Castro regime and the island's
Catholic hierarchy, he and the other Group of 75 members still behind
bars were released last year.

Ferrer, 41, is one of a dozen members of that group who refused to
travel to Spain as a condition of his release.

London-based rights watchdog Amnesty International had adopted all of
the Group of 75 as prisoners of conscience and Havana came under
international pressure to release them after one member, Orlando Zapata,
died following a lengthy hunger strike in February 2010.

But the Castro regime says there are no political prisoners on the
Communist-ruled island and does not acknowledge the existence of an
authentic internal opposition, instead referring to these individuals as
"mercenaries" at the service of the United States.


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