Cuban dissidents denounce arrests, will commemorate UN rights day

December 10th, 2008 - 12:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Havana, Dec 10 (IANS) Cuban dissident groups have denounced the arrests of at least 20 activists on the eve of the UN human rights day Wednesday and said they would not change their plans to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Several dissident leaders across the island had been arrested and their houses kept under strict watch, Marta Beatriz Roque, the head of the Agenda for the Transition (AfT), and Elizardo Sanchez, of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCHRNR), told Spain’s EFE news agency Tuesday.

In a communique, the AfT said Cuban authorities are trying to prevent the dissidents from holding a commemoration meeting Wednesday “behind closed doors”.

“Reports are reaching us from different parts of the island of dissidents being arrested while on their way to Havana to join the closed door meeting and sent back to their districts,” the release said, adding that dissidents’ houses were under close watch.

The sponsors of the human rights day said their compatriots “will not evade the official challenge” and will celebrate “this anniversary in the streets, if necessary.”

The Cuban authorities accuse the dissidents of being “mercenaries” in the service of the United States.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |