Cuba Breaking Oppression Records as Political Arrests Skyrocket
The Cuban regime is not opening up to the Western world, nor does it appear much more amenable to respecting universally accepted notions of human rights. According to a new study by the Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCHRNR), May was a record-breaking month in political arrests on the island.
The organization’s report catalogued 1,120 arrests of peaceful political dissidents in Cuba in May 2014, what Infobae is calling “one of the largest numbers in the past decade.” Between six and ten of those arrested were shipped to high-security prisoners, while others were either sentenced to time at standard prisons or released. CCHRNR warns, not only that their numbers are likely to be lower than the actual number of arrests, but that the Cuban government may even exacerbate crackdowns on dissidents in June.
“We are sure that the real figures are even bigger given that we are subject to the most secretive regime of the Western Hemisphere and it is impossible to document all the cases of political repression, much less systematic repression throughout the entire society,” said the CCHRNR in a statement announcing its new report. Incorporating the statistics from previous months, the group has found that political arrests have doubled in 2014.
Among those arrested, notes the report, is human rights crusader, journalist, and Sakharov Prize winner Guillermo Fariñas. Fariñas has subjected himself to 24 hunger strikes, both inside and outside of prison, and visited the United States in 2013 to discuss the oppression of the Castro regime in various talks across the country. Since returning to Cuba, Fariñas has been arrested every Monday for the last 19 weeks, beaten by police officers routinely in the process.
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