[QODLink]
Americas

Cuban dissidents detained on Human Rights Day

About 20 women detained by government agents in Havana on anniversary of adoption of UN rights declaration.

Last updated: 10 Dec 2013 23:15
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The would-be protesters were from a group formed by wives and mothers of dissidents jailed in 2003 [Reuters]

Cuban government agents have detained about 20 female dissidents trying to highlight International Human Rights Day, halting the demonstration before it started.

The opponents were taken away in cars and buses on Tuesday afternoon after their planned protest along a central street in Havana was interrupted.

International rights groups say Cuban laws virtually prevent all forms of protest and dissent.

Under former President Fidel Castro dissidents often faced long prison terms for their activities, while under his brother Raul, who took over in 2008, the government has changed tactics, temporarily detaining opponents for a few hours, days or weeks and then releasing them, only to repeat the process if they protest again.

The activists detained on Tuesday were members of the Ladies in White group, formed by the wives and mothers of 75 dissidents jailed in a 2003 crackdown on Fidel Castro's opponents. The men have since been released, but the organisation has continued to protest what it views as human rights violations by the government.

The women, in groups of two or three, came in taxis over a 20 minute period, in an apparent attempt to avoid police, but to no avail.

Meanwhile, pro-government demonstrators gathered in the street to shout slogans for the Cuban revolution.

The government marked the day by organising a human rights forum that celebrated its achievements in providing citizens with social services and protections.

International Human Rights Day marks the 65th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.

246

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.