Friday, September 28, 2007

Cuba detains at least 21 dissidents

Cuba detains at least 21 dissidents
Article from: Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Havana

September 28, 2007 04:41pm

AT least 21 Cuban dissidents have been detained and prevented from
joining a protest at the Justice Ministry led by prominent activist
Martha Beatriz Roque, who police took home by force, Ms Roque said.

Ms Roque and a five other protesters went to the ministry today to
deliver a letter to Justice Minister Maria Esther Reus demanding better
treatment for political prisoners.

During the protest Ms Roque said a crowd of about 100 government
supporters gathered across the street to taunt them, calling them
"mercenaries" and "worms".

Soon after "some 15 agents of state security and three women police
officers forced me onto a bus," she said. Police then dropped her off at
her home.

Two of those detained with Ms Roque belonged to the group "Women in
White", comprised of wives of political prisoners. The group was "pushed
aboard" the bus and "verbally mistreated" and also driven home, she said.

The officer in charge told Ms Roque that police were protecting her from
"the wrath of the people", the activist said.

She said the group of 21 detainees included Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, who
was released in April after 17 years in prison for political offences.

According to the dissidents there are 250 political prisoners in Cuba, a
number that has decreased during the 14-month interim presidency of Raul

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