Cuba: Nine human rights defenders murdered, thousands of arrests, beatings and raids since Raul Castro has led the regime in Havana
MIAMI, Feb. 7, 2013. Assembly of the Cuban Resistance. At a press conference this February 7, 2013, the blind attorney, Juan Carlos González Leiva from Havana denounced the soaring repression in Cuba, recalled the deaths of at least nine human rights defenders in the past four years including the well known Laura Pollán Toledo and Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas since General Raul Castro assumed leadership of the totalitarian regime in Havana.
Also providing testimony in the conference were Idania Yánez Contreras and Caridad Caballero Batista, both recently exiled and who experienced firsthand, beatings, arbitrary arrests, harassment and all types of violations of their civil rights and those of their children and families.
“I want to say that the lives of human rights defenders in Cuba are at risk. At least nine (9) deaths, murders in the past four years, more than six thousand (6,000) arbitrary arrests in the last twelve months only, the raids, beatings, and attacks against those who fight for the defense of human rights is the record of the Raul Castro regime,” affirmed from Havana González Leiva, who heads the Council of Human Rights Rapporteurs of Cuba, and the Municipal Democratic Circles.
On behalf of the Assembly of the Resistance participated Laida Carro of the Cuban American Women’s Coalition, Pedro Peñaranda, representing the Municipal Democratic Circles and Janisset Rivero of the Cuban Democratic Directorate.
A video with images of repressive actions against nonviolent human rights defenders was presented at the conference.
“¿Hasta cuándo seguirá pasando esto en Cuba? Hemos sido víctimas de actos de repudio, producto de uno de ellos mi abuelita murió el año pasado en enero. Mis hijos pequeños han sido golpeados, arrestados, agredidos y tienen muchos problemas por esos traumas. Nos han agredido sexualmente sobre todo a las mujeres defensoras de los derechos humanos. El mundo no puede callar ante esto”, expresó con lágrimas en los ojos Idania Yánez Contreras de la Coalición Central Opositora.
“How long will this happening in Cuba ? We have been victims of acts of repudiation, the result of one of them my grandmother died last year in January. My young children have been beaten, arrested, assaulted and have many problems to those traumas. We mostly have sexually assaulted women human rights defenders. The world cannot remain silent before it, “he said with tears in her eyes Idania Yanez Contreras Central Opposition Coalition.
Also Caridad Caballero Batista, of the Eastern Democratic Alliance denounced the violation of religious freedom in Cuba , as citizens are attacked and arrested for practicing any religion. In her case for trying to go to the Catholic Church of Holguin she was beaten and arrested on numerous occasions. Her house raided, her youngest son arrested, among other violations that she made clear are not an isolated case, but a systematic practice by the regime of the Castro family.