Cubans from Havana Protest Against Police Abuse

During the afternoon hours of this past 16th of April, more than five-hundred people joined a heated protest in the centric Fraternity Park in Havana.  They were protesting against the manner in which members of the PNR (National Revolutionary Police) carried out the arrest of a young citizen who had been detained because of a quarrel with another citizen.  The abuse carried out by the officials was sufficient to detonate a display of popular discontent.

While the police officers violently handcuffed and transferred the young Cuban, the people there started to scream: “abusers, assassins, release the young man, stop mistreating him”.  The police officers, upon seeing that they were outnumbered, decided to start releasing the Cuban from his handcuffs.  The marks of the cuffs on the young man’s hands provoked further rage.  A man who seemed to be older than seventy shouted, “you are all a bunch of abusing henchmen”.

During the incident, Jorge Castorbery Dias Dias, president of the Democratic Voice of the People Movement, was detained.  Dias was at the scene taking photographs.  One State Security official rushed up to the human rights activist and shoved and handcuffed him, then introduced him into the police vehicle.  However, he was taken by other officials of that same oppressive entity.  During the arrest, Jorge received physical blows on the head as he was shoved against the roof of the vehicle.

Amid the denouncements of the activist which stated that his arrest was arbitrary, the response from the official was “you know that this is Cuba, and that you cannot do that here.  Besides, I know who you are, I know you’re a well known counter-revolutionary”.  Jorge was taken to the Dragones Unit of Old Havana and locked away in a dungeon for more than three hours.  He was threatened by the political police and then was released.

Photos and Report courtesy of Eriberto Liranza Romero; Information and Press Commission of the CYMD. 

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