TWO EX-PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE REMAIN ARBITRARILY ARRESTED
Beatings Against Ladies in White continue / September 12, 2011
Cuban authorities informed Belkis Cantillo that she will be able to see her husband, ex-prisoner of conscience, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, on Monday, September 12, 2011 for five minutes at the 3rd Police Unit in Santiago de Cuba. The whereabouts of Ferrer Garcia were unknown to his family since September 9 when he and three other human rights defenders were taken away from the house of Raudel Avila in Palma Soriano by two patrol cars. Also arrested were Angel Moya, another ex-prisoner of conscience, as well as Raumel Vinajera and Raudel Avila. All remain under arrest except Mr. Avila who was released on September 10.
These arrests were preceded by a call for all activists to participate in the “Marcha Nacional por la Libertad, Boitel Zapata Viven” that would advance from Eastern to Western Cuba to demand freedom for the island and was to begin on September 8, commemorative date when the Cuban people honor the Patroness of Cuba, “Our Lady of Charity.”
The government placed checkpoints throughout Cuba with the purpose of locating, repressing, and arresting activists. The following is a summary of some of the reported arrests and acts of repression:
Sept. 7, 2011 – Arrested in Guantanamo, from where the Marcha Nacional por la Libertad, “Boitel Zapata Viven” was supposed to take off, Rolando Rodriguez Lobaina, coordinator of the Alianza Democratica Oriental, group that is part of the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Civica y Desobediencia Civil Orlando Zapata Tamayo. He was released hours later, Sept 7.
Sept. 8, 2011 – Arrested in Eastern Cuba: Reinaldo Rodriguez, Guillermo Cobas, Yimi Cantillo, Rene Hierrezuelo, Marino Antomarchit, Julio Cobas, Jose Batista Falcon, Hector Felix Labrada, Elena Garces, Carlos Alberto Reyes, Abraham Cabrera, William Cepeda, Prudencio Villalon. Of all these activists, it is certain that William Cepeda, Prudencio Villalon and Marino Antomarchit were released. In Camaguey, the activists Virgilio Mantilla, and Elicardo Freire were arrested.
Twenty two Ladies in White were violently intercepted and forced into a bus after attending mass at the Sanctuary of “Our Lady of Charity”, in the town of “El Cobre”, in Eastern Cuba, and were later released in different locations. Some had to walk kilometers to their homes. The women are: Laura Pollan and her daughter, Laura Labrada Pollan, Aimee Garces, Belkis Cantillo, Tania Montoya, Yoelis Gonzalez Pavon, Mildred Noemi Sanchez Infante, Julia Cairo, Milagros Lieva, Maritza Cardoso, Yanelis Despaign, Annis Sarrion, Julia Casanova, Doraisa Correoso, Annia Alegre Pecora, Liusmila Rodriguez, Yanisleidis Rodriguez,Yusileisis Vazquez, Vivian Peña, Eudice M. Fernandez, Luz Maria Parada, Juana I. Parada.
As reported by Mildred Sanchez, she and two other women who were on their way to participate in the mass at the Sanctuary of “Our Lady of Charity” with the Ladies in White, were intercepted by the police and taken to the town of Baragua where they were subjected to an “act of repudiation”. They were beaten and insulted by a mob. Mildred fainted and had to be taken to a hospital to be treated for the physical and psychological traumas.
Sept. 9, 2011 – Activists arrested in Eastern Cuba: Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, Angel Moya, Raumel Vinajera, Tania Montoya, Francisco Castellanos, and Maximiliano Sanchez. The latter two have been released.
Marta Diaz Rondon was beaten, detained and released with threats from the police that she cannot leave her house in Banes.
In Havana, the ex-prisoner of conscience, Arnaldo Ramos Lauzurique, 69 years of age, was arrested in the vicinity of a Pentecostal Temple that the police has surrounded since Friday, for reasons not yet clear. The Pastor and more than 70 members of this church will not come out of the building. Lauzurique was taken handcuffed to the police station of Zanja and Dragones, where he was interrogated and his camera and cell phone confiscated. He was released around 2:30 a.m. when he had to walk 3 kms. to his get to his home.
Sept. 11, 2011 – Arrested in Holguin, human rights defender, Caridad Caballero Batista with her husband, Esteban Sander and two other activists.
Six activists who were violently arrested on August 28, 2011, following a raid with tear gas to the home of Marino Antomarchit have been acused of “disorderly conduct” and the Provincial Court of Santiago de Cuba has placed them under “provisional imprisonment”. They are: Miguel Rafael Cabrera Montoya, Bismarck Mustelier Galán, José Enrique Martínez Ferrer, Alexis Aguirrezábal Rodríguez, Alexis Kuan Jerez and Víctor Campa Almenares. Nibaldo Amelo Ramirez, coordinator in eastern Cuba of the organization, “Cuba Independiente y Democratica”, under the umbrella, Frente Nacional de Resistencia Civica y Desobediencia Civil Orlando Zapata Tamayo, and who was also part of this group of activists arrested on August 28, 2011, was released from the hospital where he was treated for affectations following the raid and is presently under house arrest.
The Cuban regime continues its pattern of escalating violence against the peaceful human rights defenders who demand fundamental freedoms in the island. The Coalition of Cuban-American Women makes an urgent call to the press and to non-governmental organizations dedicated to the defense of human rights worldwide, as well as to individuals in positions of leadership in religious, political, educational, social, and cultural institutions to denounce these cruel and degrading acts committed by the Cuban regime against its own people.
FURTHER INFORMATION IN CUBA: Belkis Cantillo + 53 53790867 / Berta Soler + 53 52906820 / Marino Antomarchit – + 53 53361741 / Laura Pollan + 53 7 8734165 or + 53 5 2457830
INFO IN SPAIN: Luis Enrique Ferrer Garcia + 34 – 691 803 955
Coalition of Cuban-American Women / Laida A, Carro / Joseito76@aol.com