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Human Rights Activists in Havana Carry Out a Sit-in in Demand for Freedom of Beaten Activist
By Cuban Democratic Directorate

Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva,Executive Secretary of the Council of Investigators of Human Rights in Cuba and President of the Cuban Foundation for Human Rights.

Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva,Executive Secretary of the Council of Investigators of Human Rights in Cuba and President of the Cuban Foundation for Human Rights.

Havana, November 28, 2007. Between 15 and 25 human rights activists have been carrying out a sit-in in front of the National Revolutionary Police Unit (PNR) for more than a week demanding the release of Juan Bermudez Toranzo, who was violently arrested the night of November 21st, at 9 p.m. by more than 30 members of the PNR and State Security. The officials burst into his home in the Cambute neighborhood, located in San Miguel de Padrón, where a fast was being carried out for the freedom for all political prisoners.

 

“We find ourselves here sitting-in, we will not move until he is immediately freed, and we hold the Cuban Regime responsible of these violent acts that can be taken upon us and on Bermudez Toranzo,” declared Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva to the Cuban Democratic Directorate in the early hours of the morning. Gonzalez Leiva is the Executive Secretary of the Council of Investigators of Human Rights in Cuba and President of the Cuban Foundation for Human Rights. He affirmed that the participants have been sitting-in, in silence, since November 22nd before the National Revolutionary Police Unit “Aguilera,” found in the municipality of 10 de Octubre.

 

Nery Castillo, wife of Bermudez Toranzo, who also is sitting-in with the rest of the activists in front of the police unit, has been subject to harsh intimidation by high-ranking officials of the 21st Department of State Security and of “Villa Marista.” The agents warned her that “she would have to leave the sit-in, that they were going to take away her children, and that they have prepared a battalion of women of the Rapid Response Brigade to arrest and abuse all of them.” However, Gonzalez Leiva affirmed that they will stand firmly until they free her husband.

 

Bermudez Toranzo was taken from his home on November 21st and dragged along the street with his two-year old son, to take him to the squad car that took him to the police unit. The child, traumatized by the violent act, stayed with his mother in the middle of the street.

 

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