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Police Arrest Activist Eliécer Ávila and Raid His Home

Police Arrest Activist Eliécer Ávila and Raid His Home

The video shows Eliecer Avila and other human rights activists at the
Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, protesting the confiscation
of Avila’s laptop when he returned to the country from abroad.

14ymedio, Havana, 8 April 2017 – Some fifty uniformed members of the
National Revolutionary Police and the Ministry of the Interior raided
the home of the activist Eliécer Ávila, leader of the Somos+ (We Are
More) Movement this Saturday morning. The police seized documents and
home appliances, in addition to arresting the opponent, according to
detailed information from his wife, Rachell Vázquez, speaking to 14ymedio.

The police search began at six in the morning and lasted about four
hours during which the troops did not allow access to the property
located in the neighborhood of El Canal, in the Havana’s Cerro
municipality. “We were going to eat something when they knocked on the
door,” says Vázquez.

During the search, the police were accompanied by two witnesses of the
Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR). “All they left us was
the TV,” adds the wife. “Right now Eliécer is missing, because no one
knows where they took him,” he says.

Hours earlier, the couple was at Terminal 3 of José Martí International
Airport, where Avila staged a protest to demand the return of several of
his belongings retained by the General Customs of the Republic. Last
Thursday, when the activist returned from a trip to Colombia, his
personal laptop was confiscated.

The opponent remained at the airport for more than 36 hours and insisted
to security agents that he would not leave the place until they returned
the computer. Other members of his organization joined in the protest.

After being arrested this Saturday Ávila made a phone call to his wife
to inform her that he is being held at the Police Station of Aguilera
and Lugareño in La Viñora. “He asked me to bring the deed of the house
and 1,000 CUP,” says Vázquez, but “the police took the money in the

In a video posted on the Somos+ website, Avila is seen in an airport
lounge with two activists carrying posters with the phrase “No More
Robbery.” The opponent denounced in front of the camera that the
authorities “gave no explanations” and have not told him the reason for
confiscating his computer.

Police searches and raids on dissidents’ homes have become common in the
last year. In its report for March, the Cuban Commission on Human Rights
and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) denounced this procedure.

During that month “there were innumerable cases of dissidents deprived
of their computers, cell phones and other means of work as well as
cash,” the report adds. These actions are aimed “to prevent the work of
peaceful opponents and to make them increasingly poor,” said the
independent entity.

Source: Police Arrest Activist Eliécer Ávila and Raid His Home –
Translating Cuba –

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