Dissidents in Cuba
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Cuba releases church-raid dissidents

Cuba releases church-raid dissidents

Posted 1 hour 24 minutes ago

A Cuban rights group says authorities have released the remaining seven
dissidents of a group of around 20 arrested on Tuesday during a police
raid on a church in Santiago.

Elizardo Sanchez, head of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and
National Reconciliation (CCDHRN), said the total number of dissidents
arrested had been more than 20, after the number had been reported at 15.

The dissidents were detained after security forces stormed a church's
parish hall to stop an anti-Government protest, the church's priest and
a dissident group said.

The dissidents, dressed in black, had walked inside the Santa Teresita
church to protest the arrest of another Government opponent, Sanchez said.

The priest of the church, Jose Conrado Rodriguez, said he had demanded
an explanation from local authorities.

Mr Sanchez said the police action was part of 'a policy of preventive
repression' ahead of Human Rights Day on December 10 when several
opposition members have scheduled events.

A spokesman for Cuba's Catholic Bishops Conference said the police
action inside a church was 'unusual' and 'very regrettable'.

Santiago de Cuba Archbishop Dionisio Garcia also voiced concern.

"We're not used to this. I had no idea … police could do that …
we're talking [to Government officials] now to avoid such incidents in
future," he said.

Mr Sanchez's group, which is outlawed but largely tolerated by the
communist regime, says there are about 250 political prisoners in Cuba.

The regime, however insists there are no political prisoners, only
mercenaries financed by the United States and people who tried to
disturb order or commit acts of terrorism.

– AFP

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/12/07/2112139.htm?section=justin

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