Published August 02, 2012
Human rights group Amnesty International called upon Cuba Thursday to stop detaining government opponents.
The group pointed to the release of José Daniel Ferrer García, the coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, who was detained for two days after being arrested in Holguín. Authorities didn’t charge Ferrer with a crime.
It wasn’t the first time Ferrer had landed in jail. He was detained for three days in February and again for 27 days on charges of “public disorder” two months later, according to Amnesty International.
“The latest arrest and short-term detention of José Daniel Ferrer García continues the Cuban authorities’ cat-and-mouse game with political dissidents and human rights activists,” said James Burke of Amnesty International.
The government does not release information about the detentions of political dissidents, which the Communist authorities call common criminals and accuse of being supported by Washington.
The Castro government released most of the political prisoners on the island in 2011 in a deal brokered by the Catholic Church and the Spanish government, though it obligated all but a handful of them to emigrate to Spain as a condition of release.
Since then, human rights watchdogs have criticized the Cuban government for detaining government opponents for short periods of time.
“Raul Castro's government has increasingly relied on arbitrary detention to harass and intimidate individuals who exercise their fundamental rights,” Human Rights Watch said in its 2012 World Report.
Cuban authorities reportedly arrested several dissidents who attended the funeral of opposition leader Oswaldo Payá, who died in a car crash last month.