Leading dissident arrested following a letter calling on UN official to check human rights in Cuba
Cuban opponent and Sarajov Human Rights Prize from the European Parliament, Guillermo Fariñas was picked up by security forces on Wednesday at his home in the city of Santa Clara, with no information of the reason for his arrest or where he is being held.
The mother of journalist and psychologist Fariñas broke the news, he was taken an hour ago, today 8th September, said Alicia Hernández.
Allegedly security forces arrived at Fariñas home in Santa Clara and took him without giving any reason or excuse for the arrest.
He never leaves the house. His sister and I look after him, take him food and whatever he needs, said Alicia.
However not much later the NGO Prisoners Defenders, with HQ in Spain, made public the arrest of the United Antitotalitarian Front, Fantu, a leader who was also awarded the Sajarov Prize for his fight in favour of human rights.
Fariñas, 59 is also known for the numerous hunger strikes he has kept protesting against the Cuban system and regime. The last one out of 25, took place in 2016 and lasted 54 days calling on the Cuban regime of the Castro Brothers to cease repression of dissidents.
Although originally a strong supporter of the Cuban Revolution, Fariñas in 1989 started his opposition to the Fidel Castro dictatorship and in 1992 he joined the dissident Democratic Block, Jose Marti. Since then he has become one of the most representative figures of the opposition to Castro and his cronies.
According to the site Diario de Cuba, Fariñas arrest has taken place following the Democratic Cuba exile organization request to the UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet for a condemnation or investigation into the serious human rights violations that the Castro regime is implementing, reacting to the massive protests for food and liberty that erupted in several Cuban cities, last 11 July.
It is unacceptable that you and your office, standing at the highest global appeal when it comes to human rights, remain in silence, which can be interpreted as an accomplice of the violation perpetrators, the organization claimed in an open letter sent to Ms Bachelet last week.
Fariña’s hunger strikes which he defines as a non-violent method to draw the attention of public opinion about a certain form of abuse, has been his way of combating the Cuban regime oppression, repression and attempts to silence opponents of the regime, which usually considers them as counter-revolutionaries and mercenaries of the interests of the United States.