Repression increases in Castrolandia
from ABC in Spain (go here for Spanish original)
In less than one year, the Castro regime has increased the number of political detainees in its high-security prisons, and at the same time has also stepped up its repression against dissidents. The number of political prisoners has increased from sixty at the end of 2011 to eighty-two “sanctioned or processed for political reasons,” according to a Cuban human rights organization.
In its press release concerning political repression in October the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (Comisión Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional – or CCDHRN) claims that six new political prisoners continue to await trial in high-security prisons. These are: Calixto Martínez, Osvaldo Rodríguez, Juana Castillo, Francisco Osoria, Rafael Matos y Oswaldo Rodríguez Castillo.
On a positive note, colleagues of ex-prisoner of conscience Elizardo Sánchez claim that at least four political prisoners were released in October.
The Cuban Commission for Human Rights (CCDHRN) also announced that two anti-Castro exiles who returned to Cuba and were arrested for possessing arms –José Falcón Gómez y Jesús Rojas Pineda – have served eighteen years of their twenty-year sentences.
At the same time two prisoners of conscience –Niurka Luque Álvarez (LADIES IN WHITE) and Antonio Michel Lima Cruz were released after serving seven and twenty-two months in prison, respectively. Ex-prisoner Elizardo Sánchez observes that the Castro regime “frees four dissidents with one hand while detaining twenty more with the other hand.”
CCDHRN registered at least 520 arbitrary arrests in October for political reasons, most of which led to a few hours or days in prison. It also lists at least 5,625 dissident arrests in the first ten months of 2012, a thirty-six percent increase from all of 2011, which racked up a total of 4,123 such arrests.
Finally, the CCDHRN denounced as a violation of human rights the constant “acts of repudiation” carried out against dissidents and their families by the dictatorship of Fidel and Raul Castro, in which young children as well as the elderly become targets. Six such acts have been recorded for October, which affected at least eighteen individuals. During these “hate crimes,” the Commission reports, police-led mobs “ stone and vandalize the homes of dissidents and also insult them.”