Monday, October 17, 2011


From October 7-16, 2011, the Cuban regime has subjected hundreds of human rights defenders and their families to brutal physical and emotional violence. 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 civic, religious, political, educational, social, cultural institutions and to individuals in positions of leadership in these areas of society, to denounce these cruel and degrading acts committed by the Cuban regime against its own people.
CUBA – Repression / October 7 – 16, 2011

OCTOBER 7- 8, 2011
Santiago de Cuba – On Friday, October 7, 2011, government repressive forces organized an "act of repudiation" by surrounding the home of human rights defender, Doraisa Correoso Pozo, located on 3rd Street in the suburb of Santa Barbara in the city of Santiago de Cuba, where a group of 7 female supporters of the Ladies in White and male activists were gathered. On Saturday, October 8, as the act of repudiation continued the house remained under siege for approximately 24 hours), the violent mob tried to break down the door of the house and as the activists were forced to come out in pairs they were all stoned, beaten with sticks, and pieces of lumber, insulted, and taken to the 3rd Police Unit. Some were injured and had to be taken to the hospital. They were later released.
Activists and female supporters of the Ladies in White who were subject of repression and short term detention: Elvis Gonzalez Pozo, Ana Celia Rodríguez, Adriana Núñez, Enma Alegre Pecora, Julia Cairot, Maria Elena Matos, Doraisa Corrioso, Eunicia Madaula, Maximiliano Sánchez (beaten and detained for 24 hours), Juan Carmelo Bermúdez, Samuel Le Blanc, Ernesto Vera.
Palmarito de Cauto – Human rights defenders, Ruben Torres and Amauri Abelenda Hierrezuelo, and other members of the Union Patriotica Cubana, were violently detained and taken to the Versailles State Security Center in Santiago de Cuba for their defense of human rights, freedom and democracy. Abelenda had placed stickers in the front of his home that read "CHANGE".

OCTOBER 9, 2011 –
Palma Soriano – The political police (men and women in military uniform) prevented thirteen Ladies in White from attending mass at the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba as they were stopped and brutally beaten in the street. One of the women beaten is pregnant. Belkis Cantillo was suffering from great pain after being kicked in the stomach by a policeman. Aymee Garces Leiva's hair was pulled and both her arms were bruised. Tania Montoya denounced that they were all forced onto a bus, taken first to a police unit and then to State Security, and were finally dropped off in groups of two in far undisclosed locations, so they could not gather once again. Other female activists involved,who are residents of the cities of Moa, Palma Soriano, Contramaestre, and Palmarito de Cauto were: Oria Casanova, Yuremis Gonzalez, Vivian Peña, Yanelis Eleica Despaigne, Liudmila Rodriguez, Annis Zarrion, Belkis R. Romero, Tania Bandera, Milagros Leyva, and Mayelin La O Montero.
Palmarito de Cauto – Prudencio Villalon Rades, member of the "Union Patriotica de Cuba" (UNPACU0, denounced an act of repudiation by a violent mob of around 100 people with sticks and stones that included a minor with Down syndrome, against the home of Amauri Abelenda Hierrezuelo (apprehended Oct. 8, 2011) where activists had gathered to protest the violence against the Ladies in White.

OCTOBER 10, 2011 –
Pedro Betancourt, Matanzas - At approximately 10 am, a group of activists of the Alternative Option Independent Movement were savagely beaten and arrested in the middle of the thoroughfare by forces consisting of State Security agents, uniformed police, and rapid response brigades. The activists were attempting to take part in a patriotic act at the city's cemetery to commemorate the 10th of October. Violently beaten and arrested were: Gulliber Sigler, María Victoria Sigler Amaya, Juan Francisco Sigler Amaya, Beatriz Gómez García, Eddie Moreno Fernández, Dagoberto Santana Marichal, Lázaro Sigler González, Vanesa Rodríguez Domínguez, Ervis Granda.

OCTOBER 12, 2011 –
Aguadores Prison, Santiago de Cuba - The following three human rights defenders who were imprisoned on August 28, 2011, (following the assault by paramilitary groups with tear gas to the house of Antonio Antomarchit) were released: Reinaldo Rodriguez, Jose Batista and Hector Labrada. Seven activists continue awaiting trial for committing the common crimes of "assault" and "public disorder": Miguel Rafael Cabrera Montoya, Bismar Mustelier Galán, Alexis Aguirrezabal Rodríguez, José Enrique Martínez Ferrer, Víctor Campa Almenares and Pedro Campa Almenares. Alexis Kuan Jerez is detained in a punishment cell for protesting the inhumane prison conditions they are being subjected to (overcrowding, rotten food, lack of water, inadequate medical care, etc.)

OCTOBER 13, 2011 –
Guantanamo - An act of repudiation was carried out in the city of Guantanamo against the home of the human rights defender, Niorvis Rivera. Both his daughters (minors) were mistreated and the front of the house was smeared with black asphalt.

OCTOBER 14, 2011 –
Contramaestre - Detained in the Eastern city of Contramaestre and taken to the Third Police Unit in Santiago de Cuba, the Ladies in White, Belkis Cantillo, Aimee Garces and Tania Montoya, were on their way to the capital city of Havana to attend the funeral of Laura Pollan, leader of the group Ladies in White who had died around eight in the evening.
Ciego de Avila - The ex-political prisoner, Pedro Arguelles, who resides in Ciego de Avila was also prevented from traveling to Havana and remained under house arrest with police outside his home.
Caridad Caballero and Isabel Peña, both from Holguin, and Annis Zarrion and Milagros Leyva from the city of Moa were subjected to short term detention and were unable to travel to Havana for Pollan's funeral. Peña was punched in the face in the police unit where she was subjected to a cross-examination, and Zarrion and Leyva were brutally beaten when police agents forced them to get down from a bus. In the city of El Caney, the following activists were also forced down from the vehicle they were traveling on: Liudmila Cedeño, Ana Celia Rodríguez, Guillermo Cobas, Eliecer Consuegra and Henry Pedales.

OCTOBER 15, 2011 –
Havana Province - Lady in White, Sandra Guerra was taken away by Cuban State Security agents in the town of Finca Ojos de Agua when she tried to travel to attend the funeral services of Laura Pollan.
BanesAriel Meneses was detained in Eastern Cuba and taken to an undisclosed police unit. His family did not know of his whereabouts. Activist Dayami Ortiz was also detained.

OCTOBER 16, 2011 –
Santiago de Cuba - Activist Samuel Le Blanc was arrested on his way to the Church of Santa Teresita in Santiago de Cuba. The temple was surrounded by more than 15 police agents and a patrol car kept going around the church to prevent anyone from attending mass. Many other churches in Eastern Cuba were under siege to prevent activists from attending mass to remember Laura Pollan.
Moa - Eleven activists, members of the Union Patriotica de Cuba (UMPACU), who displayed posters that read "LAURA, YOU ARE NOT DEAD" "LAURA YOUR COMPATRIOTS WILL CONTINUE THE STRUGGLE" were arrested in Eastern Cuba. Among them were, Juan Carlos Vazquez Osoria. Female members of support group of the Ladies in White, Annis Sarrion and Milagros Leiva were violently taken down from a bus on their way to Havana to honor Laura Pollan. The police almost left them out of breath and their arms were violently twisted when they tried to protest their arrest.
Also arrested in Moa were: Leudis Fajardo, Martín Ruíz, Mario Antonio Brocal, Bárbaro Tresol, Omar Wilson, Omar Pérez, Yilian Pérez, and Gerardo Guerrero, all members of the Unión Patriótica Cubana (UNPACU).
Guisa, Granma province – Arrested human rights activist, Robinson Torres.
Palmarito de Cauto - A patrol car is parked across the street from the home of ex-political prisoner and head of the UNPACU, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia to watch and control anyone who enters and leaves the house.
Havana - A wave of repression was carried out since the early morning hours this Sunday to prevent human rights activists from attending mass at the Church of Santa Rita in the suburb of Miramar in Havana to pray and pay homage to one of the most prominent leaders of the Ladies in White, Laura Pollan, who died October 14, 2011, after being hospitalized for a week in the Calixto Garcia Hospital. Many activists described the city as "militarized": dozens of their homes were under siege and their telephone lines were interrupted. Several were either beaten, arrested and taken to police units and some even had the flowers that they were taking to the church broken by police agents.
The independent journalists, Jose Alberto Alvarez and Hector Negrin were detained as were blogger and lady in white, Katia Sonia Martin and activists Aimee Cabrales, Elizabeth Saboya.
Many activists were arrested and taken to undisclosed police units: Miguel Amado Reyes, Daniel Anselmo, Yaroslan Tamayo, Fernando J. Vergara, Abdel Rodríguez Arteaga, Jaime Delgado Arteaga, Juan Manuel Lara and many more whose names were not disclosed.
Around 40 Ladies in White and members of their support group were able to reach the Church of Santa Rita in Havana and march and honor the memory of one of their leaders, Laura Pollan. They publicly vowed to continue their pilgrimages throughout the streets of Havana demanding the freedom of all Cuban political prisoners and on behalf of all fundamental freedoms in Cuba.
Further information in Cuba: Juan Carlos Vásquez Soria - +5353783667 / Berta Soler +5352906820 / Tania Montoya +5353146329 / José Daniel Ferrer - + 5353631267 / Belkis Cantillo - + 5353790867
Coalition of Cuban-American / Laida Carro

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