HAVANA – Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez was released hours after being taken into custody in this capital along with other government opponents.
“I’m walking the Havana streets again after being held for several hours. I’m OK. Thanks for your solidarity,” Sanchez wrote on Twitter.
Pro-government blogger Yohandry Fontana, meanwhile, reported on her Twitter account that Sanchez had been released, saying she had been detained for “creating a public disturbance and for lack of social discipline.”
The author of the Generation Y blog, a vehicle for Sanchez to criticize the day-to-day realities on the Communist-ruled island, was arrested Thursday afternoon in Havana while heading to a police station with other dissidents to check on the situation of several government opponents detained the day before.
Also arrested along with Sanchez were psychologist and independent journalist Guillermo Fariñas, as well as some ex-political prisoners who had been jailed in a large 2003 crackdown – Angel Moya, Librado Linares, Felix Navarro, Ivan Hernandez Carrillo and Eduardo Diaz Fleitas.
Elizardo Sanchez, leader of the outlawed but tolerated Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation, told Efe he interpreted these latest arrests as part of “a spiral of political repression in the capital.”
Sanchez also was detained for 30 hours on Oct. 4 in the eastern city of Bayamo after traveling there in a bid to attend the trial of Spanish political activist Angel Carromero.
Carromero was convicted of vehicular manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison for the deaths of dissidents Osvaldo Paya and Harold Cepero in a car accident earlier this year.
Fariñas apparently was still being held at a police lockup in Havana, his mother, Alicia Hernandez, told Efe, adding that she expects he will be taken to his home in the central city of Santa Clara on Friday.
Fariñas has staged two-dozen hunger strikes since the 1990s to call for a free press, access to the Internet and the release of imprisoned dissidents, among other demands. EFE