Report: About 40 dissidents released (Updated x 2)

AFP, via Cuba Encuentro, reports that Cuban police released about 40 dissidents who had been arrested Thursday, while trying to join a protest on behalf of Cuban political prisoners, at the Cuban Justice Ministry. The detainees were released late Thursday or early Friday.

“Some of them were beaten,” said dissident leader Martha Beatriz Roque, who earlier had been detained, while conducting a sit-in in front of the Justice Ministry.

No names of those released were included in the report.

Meanwhile, the Europe-based Latin American Association for Liberty, has condemned the arrests. So has Reporters Without Borders.

Earlier: A Black September Surprise?

(Cross-posted at Uncommon Sense.)

Update: The following is a statement from Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen:

Ros-Lehtinen Urges Europe to Denounce Arrests in Cuba

(WASHINGTON) – European governments should denounce the Castro regime’s latest roundup of dissidents, just as they have criticized the crackdown of democracy advocates in Burma this week, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen suggested today in a letter to European Union officials.

As many as 200 Cuban dissidents have disappeared and others were arrested by security forces at a Thursday protest at the Justice Ministry seeking better living conditions for the hundreds of prisoners of conscience still jailed by the regime.

Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urged the European Union “to hear the cries of the Cuban nation” and called upon EU member states to denounce the round-up, demand the regime immediately account for the whereabouts of dissidents, and release them along with all prisoners of conscience.

Thursday’s crackdown “serves as yet another confirmation of the brutal nature of Raul Castro and the dictatorship as a whole, which has entrenched itself in Cuba and refuses to release its hold on power and allow the Cuban people to decide their destiny in free, fair, multiparty, democratic elections,” Ros-Lehtinen wrote in the letter to Dr. Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission; Dr. Javier Solana, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy and Secretary General of the European Council; and Mrs. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commisioner for External Relations of the European Commission.

“We have seen in recent weeks the demonstrations in Burma and the international support the Burmese monks and other pro-democracy activists there have received. The Cuban people deserve no less. We ask that the European Union demonstrate this same solidarity and support for those that struggle to bring freedom and democracy to Cuba,” Ros-Lehtinen added.

UPDATED, 6:36 p.m. EDT

Miami Herald is reporting that all but one dissident — no name was mentioned — have been released.

Still not clear is how many dissidents were arrested. Roque tells Marti Noticias that it was at least 47. She also is quoted as reported about 200 arrests, if you count those detained elsewhere in the country.

UPDATED, 8:43 a.m. EDT, Sept. 29

About 30 dissidents were detained in Villa Clara.

3 thoughts on “Report: About 40 dissidents released (Updated x 2)”

  1. Profe de la C,

    I removed your comment here because its important to stay on topic regarding this issue. Please email me your comment if you want us to publish it as a separate post.


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