The Ladies in White, the dissident movement seeking freedom for political prisoners, reported the arrest of two of its members in Havana and the harassment of another group in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba.

Berta Soler, a spokeswoman for the group, said Sunday that "police dragged" two of their followers "out of their homes and took them away under arrest, and as yet we have heard nothing more."

Soler said that 26 women marched through the streets Sunday after leaving Mass at Havana's Santa Rita Church, as they have done every Sunday since 2003.

She also said that at the town of Palma Soriano in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, police prevented at least 17 women from reaching the cathedral to attend Mass this Sunday.

About the incident, former "Group of 75" political prisoner José Daniel Ferrer told Efe by phone from Santiago de Cuba that a total of 17 women were "forcibly stopped from reaching the church."

Ferrer said that 11 of them were mistreated in the town of Palma Soriano when leaving the home of Aymee Garces, and were "violently" forced to get on a bus where they were confined for a couple of hours, while another five were taken to a police station and later released.

Last Thursday the Ladies in White, winners of the European Parliament's 2005 Sajarov Award for Freedom of Though, complained that they were the objects of "repudiation" with "physical violence" as they were setting out on their march in Havana.

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