Monday, August 15, 2011

Ladies in White brutally attacked once more

This is the fourth Sunday in Eastern Cuba since July 24, 2011, that numerous “Ladies in White” accompanied by female supporters in white attire are arrested after suffering violent physical and verbal assaults by forces of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior. Government sponsored mobs besieged the homes of human rights defenders in different towns of the province of Santiago de Cuba to curtail any acts of solidarity with the Cuban women.

According to Belkis Cantillo, wife of Cuban ex-political prisoner of conscience, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, she and all the women traveling with her to attend mass at the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba were forced down with punches from a truck in the city of “El Cristo” where authorities had set up a control point. More than 50 women dressed in military uniforms beat and pushed them into police cars where Cantillo says she was beaten once more and her hair was pulled.

Around twenty women were arrested. Advocates of the Ladies in White: Maria Elena Matos, Annia Alegre and Adriana Nunez were threatened with German shepherd dogs during their detention. Ms. Nunez had to be hospitalized due to the ill treatment she suffered. The police cars eventually abandoned the women in the outskirts of their home towns.

Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia informed that the home of Rene Hierrezuelo Arafe in the town of ‘El Caney’ was attacked while ‘Palma Soriano’ and ‘Palmarito de Cauto’ were militarized by Rapid Response Brigades. Some of the activists besieged in El Caney were: Agustin Magdariaga, Reinier Arocha Tellez, Eliecer Consuegra Velazquez, Pavel Arcias Cespedes, Guillermo Cobas Reyes, Yimmy Eduardo Arocha Montoya, Henry Perales Elias.

In ‘Palma Soriano’ the home of Marino Antomarchy was surrounded by mobs with sticks, stones, and metal rods. Rolando Reyes and Miguel R. Cabrera were arrested and Jose Antonio Zulueta was injured when authorities slammed him against a wall.

As the Ladies in White in Cuba vow to continue their peaceful struggle on behalf of the freedom of all Cuban political prisoners, and as long as the human rights activists continue to defend fundamental rights in the island, the Coalition of Cuban-American Women will persist in demanding international solidarity for the leaders of the civil resistance in Cuba. We make an urgent call to women in positions of leadership in religious, political, educational, social, and cultural institutions, in NGO’s, and in the press to denounce the increase of these cruel and degrading acts committed by the Cuban government against their own people.

Source: Canada Free Press

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