HAVANA – The opposition Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation warned Tuesday about “a growing trend toward increased police violence” against dissidents.
“Recent years have seen a growing trend toward police violence during detentions, despite the dissidents’ entirely peaceful behavior,” the commission said.
In its monthly report, the group spoke of at least 410 arbitrary detentions during November.
“The authorities are trying to change their practices of police repression, keeping it within the limits of what some call ‘low intensity’ repression, a tactic that does not manage to hide the generally arbitrary nature of the detentions that, in the great majority of cases, involve keeping dissidents incommunicado and in unknown locations,” it said.
The commission cited examples of police violence in November against members of the opposition, such as the “blows and mistreatment” suffered by the Ladies in White in the eastern cities of Holguin and Santiago de Cuba, and the “humiliation” inflicted on activist Antonio Gonzalez Rodile and nine other dissidents during a wave of detentions in Havana in early November.
The commission mentioned that on Nov. 27 some “unknown individuals dressed as civilians” struck opposition member Guillermo Fariñas, 2010 recipient of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize, with a piece of lumber on a street in Havana.
The Cuban government considers dissidents to be counterrevolutionaries and “mercenaries” in the pay of Washington. EFE