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Cuba Frees Catholic Human Rights Activist

Cuba Frees Catholic Dissident Ferrer

ICC Note:

A Catholic human rights activist who went missing has been released after spending 36 hours under arrest. In published remarks he said, “The police, which should be protecting the people, take orders from the Communist Party and dedicate themselves to hunt, watch, harass, impede, and detain peaceful dissidents who defend human rights…” It is suspected that he was arrested in connection with “documenting religious rights abuse in the Communist-run island nation.”

08/06/2012 Cuba (BosNewsLife)- Prominent Catholic dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer was free Monday, August 6, after he was detained for some 36 hours in Cuba's eastern city of Holguin.

Speaking from his home in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, Ferrer told reporters that "nobody" gave him a reason for his arrest. "The authorities told me that they were following orders without asking why," Spanish news agency EFE quoted him as saying.

"Since February they have made it clear to me that they don't want me in the capital and that they were going to prevent me from doing that," the dissident, and former prisoner, said.

He linked his detention to his human rights activism, including documenting religious rights abuses in the Communist-run island nation.

“The police, which should be protecting the people, take orders from the Communist Party and dedicate themselves to hunt, watch, harass, impede, and detain peaceful dissidents who defend human rights, as well as Ladies in White. That is the sad reality which we try to and will change,” he said in published
remarks.

Ferrer, 41, is the leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba and known as a devout Catholic. In recent months, he has been actively documenting and denouncing cases of men and women who have been forcibly prevented by state security officials from participating in religious activities.

"We call on the Cuban government to end the arbitrary arrest and detention of activists like Ferrer, and respect the fundamental rights of its citizens,” Johnston added in a statement to BosNewsLife.

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