Cuban dissident detained for third time this year

Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, May 10, 2012 / 04:04 pm (CNA).- The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation denounced the Castro regime for jailing prominent Cuban dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer for the third time so far in 2012.

Spokesman for the Commission, Elizardo Sanchez, told the EFE news agency that Ferrer was detained on his way to the Czech Republic Embassy in Havana to use the internet, which is strictly controlled by the Cuban government. 

Ferrer, who leads the Patriotic Union of Cuba, was intercepted by “three police cars of the State security force.”

Henry Perales, a member of the Patriotic Union, witnessed the detention and said it was videotaped by police. He noted that Ferrer did not offer any resistance.

Sanchez said Ferrer had been in Havana for several days meeting with diplomats from the European Union. “I took him there, and he was brought back to my house by a diplomat,” he explained. Sanchez said the Cuban dissident was “accompanied by someone at all times.”

This is the third time in 2012 that Ferrer has been detained after being released from prison in 2011 thanks to the intervention of the Archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega. However, the Communist government only agreed to grant him permission to leave prison instead of suspending his sentence.

Ferrer was detained first in February and later on April 2. The government released him 27 days later but has charged him with “public disorder.”

His brother, Luis Enrique Ferrer, who represents the Patriotic Union of Cuba abroad, warned that the charges could mean he might be sent back to prison. In a video for the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, Luis Enrique said his brother could face another prison sentence on top of the 16 years remaining from his initial sentence.

State police are threatening him with having to spend “the rest of his days in jail,” Luis Enrique said.

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