Cuba: The family of Cuban opposition leader Guillermo Fariñas denounces that he is «kidnapped» by the police.


Relatives of Cuban opposition activist Guillermo Fariñas have denounced that he has been «kidnapped» since Friday, when he was detained by security forces at his home in the city of Santa Clara.

«He is being held hostage by state security officers at the Provincial Operations Unit of the Department of State Security (DSE). They only allowed my grandmother to enter this unit so that she could see him and bring him his medicines, food and toiletries,» the daughter of activist Haissa Fariñas explained on her Twitter account in a message posted on Sunday.

Already on Monday Haissa Fariñas has denounced that the authorities have prevented Fariñas’ 87-year-old mother from visiting the activist. «The latter asked to at least let him talk to him on the phone and the answer was ‘no’. My family and I fear that something has happened to my father since we are cut off from him,» he said.

Before the anniversary of the protests on July 11, 2021, the authorities seem to have increased harassment, threats and also arrests of opponents, activists and journalists so that they «do not go out on the streets», according to the opposition.

Last June 30, Fariñas was arrested and, according to what he later told, he was threatened with being charged with a crime of rebellion or incitement to war if he continued «issuing instructions» to incite another social outburst.

They also urged the leader of the United Anti-Totalitarian Forum «to think carefully about the things» he writes on social networks. His daughter has also denounced that this week her father’s home has been under surveillance. Fariñas was awarded in 2010 with the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought granted by the European Parliament.

OTHER HTIGATED ACTIVISTS The Observatory for Human Rights in Cuba has denounced in a statement that Fariñas’ family is unable to communicate with the Cuban dissident. In fact, the organization has counted a hundred repressive actions, at least 105, in the framework of the first anniversary of 9/11.

«Up to the date and time of issuance of this communiqué, we have documented 105 repressive actions, the most serious being arbitrary arrests and detentions in homes. Police summonses, threats and telephone and internet service cuts have also been reported,» he has indicated.

In this sense, the Observatory has emphasized that the target is «the relatives of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, who are being threatened so that they do not go out to the streets and are given warnings and various threats».

According to data provided by the organization, there are currently 953 political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Cuba. During the first half of 2022, the Observatory has recorded, in total, at least 2,977 repressive actions, including 719 arbitrary arrests and 636 illegal detentions in homes.

Among the harassed activists is also independent journalist Luz Escobar, who was summoned on Friday to receive a very clear warning: that next July 11, 12 and 13 she will be under «surveillance» at her home and, therefore, will not be able to leave.

«The State Security officer who calls himself Ramses, and who frequently reprimands me, called me this afternoon to tell me that I am summoned tomorrow at 10.00 a.m. to the ID card office for an ‘interview’,» Escobar recounted on Thursday on her networks. «He says that, as of new regulations, they are not obliged to leave me a paper in writing,» he said, as reported by the portal 14yMedio.

Also this Friday Leo Fernández Cruz, from Guanabacoa, was quoted. «Last July 11 I did not go out on the street,» said Fernandez, who spent six hours in detention in November.

Other activists inside the island, such as Yerly Velázquez, from Santa Clara, have also been summoned by the police and sources in Cienfuegos assure that there are schools that have been closed since Friday in order to accommodate police and military personnel.

Meanwhile, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has granted precautionary measures to the J-11 prisoners, Walnier Luis Aguilar Rivera and Ibrahim Domínguez Aguilar, who «would be in severe conditions of detention without receiving adequate medical attention to date», as denounced by the organization.

Thus, it asks that the detention conditions be «compatible with the applicable international standards on the matter» and warns of reports on «prison overcrowding; insufficient medicines, food and drinking water; inadequate hygiene and sanitation; deficient medical assistance and a wide margin of discretion that the agents have when guaranteeing order inside the penitentiary centers».


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