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    UA: 276/12 Index: AMR 25/022/2012 Cuba Date: 25 September 2012

    URGENT ACTION

    dozens of cuban opposition activists detained

    Members of the Ladies in White have been detained in Havana and several

    other places in Cuba. Some remain in detention and the authorities have

    failed to provide reasons for their detention or information on their

    whereabouts.

    From 21 to 24 September the Ladies in White () held

    several activities, including masses and marches in Havana, to celebrate

    the feast day of Our Lady of Mercy (Virgin de la Merced) and in memory

    of former political activists. Since 20 September, various members of

    the Ladies in White have received intimidating notes aimed at preventing

    them from taking part in activities. Reports from the group state that

    the headquarters in Neptuno Street, Havana have been surrounded by

    police officers.

    Around 50 members of the group, who travelled from different provinces

    of Cuba to attend the activities, were on their way to Havana.

    The majority of them were released and back to their provinces,

    however 19 remain detained and their whereabouts are unknown. On 24

    September as the Ladies in White planned to attend mass, an act of

    repudiation ( see background information) took place at

    their headquarters. Government supporters and state agents gathered in

    the street chanting pro-government slogans and intimidating the women.

    In the early morning of 25 September 18 members of the Ladies in White

    were arrested at the headquarters.

    Amnesty International believes that the repeated use of short term

    detentions of members of the Ladies in White and other activists in Cuba

    is a tactic used to silence voices in the country and prevent

    peaceful activities. Furthermore the systematic arrest of activists

    travelling from the provinces to Havana represents an excessive

    limitation to freedom of movement and represents excessive control and

    harassments of dissidents.

    Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

    Calling on the authorities to reveal immediately the identity and

    whereabouts of all members of the Ladies in White arrested between 21-25

    September;

    Urging them to immediately release the detained members, unless there is

    sufficient evidence to charge them with an internationally recognizable

    criminal offence;

    Urging them to immediately cease the harassment and intimidation of

    members of the Ladies in White and all other citizens who seek to

    peacefully exercise their rights to freedom of and

    association, and immediately stop arbitrary restrictions on freedom of

    movement of Cubans inside Cuba.

    PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 6 NOVEMBER 2012 TO:

    ?

    Raúl Castro Ruz

    de la República de Cuba

    La Habana, ?Cuba

    Fax: +53 7 83 33 085 (via Foreign Ministry); +1 212 779 1697 (via Cuban

    Mission to UN)

    Email: cuba@un.int (c/o Cuban Mission to UN)

    Salutation: Your Excellency

    Interior Minister

    General Abelardo Coloma Ibarra

    Ministro del Interior y Prisiones

    Ministerio del Interior, ?Plaza de la Revolución, ?La Habana, Cuba

    Fax: +537 85 56 621; +1 212 779 1697 (via Cuban Mission to UN)

    Email: correominint@mn.mn.co.cu

    Salutation: Your Excellency

    And copies to:

    Attorney General

    Dr Darío Delgado Cura

    Fiscal General de la República, ?Fiscalía General de la República,

    Amistad 552, e/Monte y Estrella, Centro Habana, La Habana, Cuba

    Salutation: Dear Attorney General

    ?

    Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

    Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above

    date.

    URGENT ACTION

    dozens of cuban opposition activists detained

    ADditional Information

    Acts of repudiation (actos de repudio) are government coordinated

    demonstrations, usually carried out in front of the homes of political

    opponents, attended by government supporters, state officials and law

    enforcement agencies aimed at harassing and intimidating opponents and

    are often used to prevent them from travelling to participate in

    activities. During an act of repudiation, political opponents and human

    rights activists are subjected to verbal and physical abuse by groups of

    people chanting pro-government slogans. Police are usually present but

    fail to intervene to stop the assaults. Such incidents frequently

    involve the Rapid Response Brigades (Brigadas de Respuesta Rápida), a

    structure set up in 1991 and composed of Communist Party volunteers

    whose task is to deal with any sign of 'counter-revolution'.

    Local human rights activists and others believe these incidents are

    orchestrated by Cuba's security services to intimidate any opposition.

    The Ladies in White was formed by a group of female relatives of the 75

    prisoners of conscience who were imprisoned in March 2003 for their

    peaceful expression of critical opinions of the government. The group

    would attend mass every Sunday in the capital, Havana, dressed in white,

    to pray for the release of their relatives. Afterwards they would take

    part in a procession from the church to a nearby park, carrying white

    flowers.

    A solidarity group called the Ladies in Support (Damas de Apoyo)

    subsequently emerged to support and participate in activities organized

    by the Ladies in White. In early 2012 the two groups merged and all

    members are now considered to be Ladies in White. After the release of

    all the prisoners of conscience from the March 2003 crackdown, the

    Ladies in White have been campaigning for the release of political

    prisoners and for the lifting of restrictions on fundamental civil and

    political freedoms in Cuba.

    The Ladies in White have repeatedly suffered harassment and intimidation

    as they have attempted to carry out their peaceful activities. They are

    frequently subject to acts of repudiation by government supporters and

    members of the security forces, and also to short-term arbitrary

    detentions in order to disrupt their activities.

    Name: Members of The Ladies in White (Damas de Blanco) and other

    opposition activists in Cuba

    Gender m/f: both

    ?

    UA: 276/12 Index: AMR 25/022/2012 Issue Date: 25 September 2012

    http://amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR25/022/2012/en/4fb7fe3c-b231-4489-a383-2681f98b9f3e/amr250222012en.html

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