(Tops with 7 grafs)


Prominent Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas was released Saturday after almost 48 hours in custody, he told Efe in a telephone call.

The psychologist and independent journalist said he was held at a police station in Santa Clara, the city where he lives some 270 kilometers (168 miles) east of Havana, from Thursday afternoon until Saturday morning, adding that this was the fourth time he was detained in one week.

State security agents arrested him on Thursday, he said, along with other members of the opposition, for mounting a street protest against the supposed removal of a computer from the home of dissident Jorge Luis Artiles, something they blame the authorities of doing.

Fariñas said he was arrested and freed soon afterwards on three other occasions - on Friday, Aug. 17, on Saturday, Aug.18, and on Tuesday, Aug. 21 - all for the same reason.

About the treatment he received at police headquarters, he said "it was normal and there was no kind of provocation" by the officers.

Guillermo Fariñas, recipient of the European Parliament's 2010 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, has been detained temporarily several times this year.

His family has denounced the situation as "worrying" because of his various health problems related to the 20 hunger strikes he has staged since 1996.

Separately, the illegal but tolerated Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation said this week that dozens of dissidents have been arrested in recent days in the eastern provinces of Santiago de Cuba and Holguin, the central province of Villa Clara and the western province of La Habana.

The detainees include Jose Daniel Ferrer, who was one of 75 government opponents jailed in the Cuban government's 2003 "Black Spring" crackdown, the commission said, adding that his whereabouts remains unknown after his arrest on Thursday.

All of the members of the Group of 75 were released from prison in a process that ended last year.

Ferrer, a 42-year-old resident of the eastern town of Palmarito de Cauto and leader of the outlawed opposition group Patriotic Union of Cuba, was temporarily detained on other occasions in February, April and May.

Havana routinely classifies Cuba's internal opposition as counterrevolutionaries and "mercenaries" in the service of the United States. EFE