Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cuban opposition leaders and former prisoner of conscience taken in violent early morning raid

Home invasion by Castro regime's special brigade early this morning grabs four activists

Yris Pérez Aguilera, Antúnez, Edelvis Granda and Ciro Alexis Casanova taken today
 At 6:48 am today, November 11, 2015 over the twitter account of Jorge Luis García Pérez Antúnez the following troubling news appeared: "At this moment members of the regime's special brigade are breaking down the door of the home of Jorge L Suárez in Camaguey. Four minutes later the objective of the raid was made clear in a second tweet: the assault on the Camaguey activist's home was to arrest Edelvis Granda Pérez, Ciro Alexis Casanova Pérez , Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera and Jorge Luis García Pérez Antúnez.

There was no more news on the whereabouts of this four activists until approximately 6:49pm when Bertha Antúnez (Jorge Luis's sister) now tweeting over his account reported: "At this moment State Security agents are searching and robbing the home of my brother Antunez in Placetas." She continued in another tweet: "My brother was taken into the house handcuffed behind his back, while the thugs inspect everything." Bertha's last tweet on November 11 at 7:42pm reported: "Almost one hour searching and they're not done, have separated so far to take: CDs, my brother's computer and documents." She also declared that the whereabouts of Yris, Edelvis and Ciro are unknown.

The arrests come one day after Jorge Luis García Pérez Antúnez launched the campaign "No, no and no to the dictatorship" to free two activists arrested and subjected to a summary judgement last week and sentenced to six months in prison throwing leaflets and calling on the Cuban populace to "generate a constant resistance to the Castro dictatorship."

The two activists, Geovanys Izaguirre Hernández and Laudelino Rodríguez Mendoza had not paid fines of 2,000 pesos,  which is ten months salary, for anti-government graffiti that appeared in the Palma Soriano municipality.

Opposition activists protest four activists arrests

Damaris Moya Portieles, pictured above in Geneva in 2014, protesting in Cuba today
Damaris Moya Portieles,  announced at 4:40pm that 16 activists of the Central Opposition Coalition had divided into three groups and would take to the street marching to a local police station to protest the arrest of the four activists. The first group was made up of the following five activists: Mildred Aguero Torres, Lester Castillo Rodriguez, Yuriet Pedroso Gonzalez, Derbis Sardiñas Moya and Damaris Moya Portieles. At 5:09pm over twitter their arrival at the police station was reported by Bertha Antúnez.

Repression is on the upswing in Cuba and this latest episode requires a strong response from the international community and activists in the island to protect the lives and freedom of these activists.

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