May 23, 1997
Activists Detained at Gun Point
HAVANA, 16 May (APIC).- Four human rights activists from the September
Eighth Movement were aggressively detained by government police agents just
outside Havana recently.
The four dissidents, Joel de Jesus Rodriguez Vazquez, Jose Ariel Mano
Fernandez, Hector Jorge Sanchez and Vladimir Rodriguez, were stopped as they
drove out of the city along Ocho Vias highway soon after visiting the U.S.
Interests Section office.
Two police officers on motorcycles pulled their vehicle over, brandished
their guns and ordered the activists out of the car. The driver of the vehicle
was forced onto his knees, handcuffed, and threatened with a gun to his head.
The passengers, ordered to stand against the side of the vehicle with their
hands on their heads, were body searched. The agents then searched the vehicle.
The activists were arrested and taken to the Guines police station where
they were interrogated harshly by agents and a Major of the notorious State
At midnight the detainees were transferred to a State Security center in
the same town, where they were formally charged with belonging to human rights
groups. They were released thirteen hours later.
Before their release the political police seized a hundred brochures the
activists had in their possession which contained the text of the United Nations
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
APIC Reporter: Lucas Garve
CubaNet translator: Miguel Casuso