[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
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Report on child sex abuse in British Asian community highlights issues that may affect the entire nation.
Taliban makes quick gains in Afghanistan with little opposition from Afghan army as US withdrawal begins.
Analysts say China moving back toward 1950s-era public trials aimed at shaming and intimidation.
Record numbers of migrants have made harrowing sea journeys to Italy and Greece this year.
In Vietnam, 40 percent of all pregnancies are terminated each year, a rate that health officials are hoping to reduce.
join our mailing list