UPDATED, Sept. 5, 2010 — All five prisoners have been released.
Five Cuban dissidents were arrested last week in Baracoa in eastern Cuba as they protested the arrest of two other activists. No official word was available, but reports were that they faced possible charges of "public disorder."
Hopefully, we will learn more about their fate this week.
One of the five, Enyor Diaz Allen, is a previous Political Prisoner of the Week.
This post, copied from Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter, first appeared here last week. It details what happened to the five prisoners and other activists during a police crackdown in eastern Cuba.
An excellent English-language recap of a recent crackdown on democracy activists in eastern Cuban, from my friend John Suarez:
The anatomy of a crackdown in six parts:
Part I: Activists harassed and detained
Yordis García Fournier and Eriberto Liranza Linares, young activists of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy (MCJD), were arbitrarily detained on August 11, 2010 at 2:15pm by Castro regime State Security. Eriberto was visiting Baracoa from Havana. Nestor Rodriguez Lobaina, a leading activist in the Cuban resistance who heads the MCJD and witnessed the detention, insisted on accompanying the activists to where they were to be held.
"Several police officers intercepted us on the street when we were going to arrange Eriberto’s return to the capital. The two were grabbed off of the street... They were deposited in a cell in the [political police] barracks," described Nestor Rodriguez Lobaina.
Part II: Members of their movement gather to protest arbitrary detention and are attacked
Later on the evening of the same day, opposition activists gathered at the home of Néstor Rodríguez Lobaina, located at Calle Martí # 434, Apartment F, to protest the detention of Yordis and Eriberto. They unfurled a Cuban flag and anti-dictatorship posters on the balcony. In response, State Security and National Revolutionary Police called its officers and members of the paramilitary Rapid Response Brigades to counter the demonstration. Cuban State Security organized a mob to carry out an act of repudiation against the activists. Shouting obscenities and insults against the nonviolent activists, the regime agents escalated the attack and slung rocks and beer bottles at Nestor’s home, breaking windows. The Cuban flag was torn down.
“They’re attacking us with rocks that weigh more than two pounds and glass bottles. They’ve filled my house with glass. Two are injured,” said Nestor Rodríguez Lobaina.
Opposition activists Roberto González Pelegrín and Enyor Díaz Allen suffered the most bruises and cuts from the mob. Enyor suffered an injury to his chest. Also present at the protest were Rolando Rodríguez Lobaina, Francisco Luis Manzanet Ortiz, Oscar Savon Pantoja, Yuliesky Sánchez Rodríguez and Daneisy Gálvez Pereira. Daniesy is eight months pregnant.
Part III: Dictatorship rewards most aggressive rock and bottle throwers
"They attacked with stones and all sorts of objects at the home of nonviolent opposition activist Néstor Rodríguez Lobaina, causing me and other activists who were there bumps and serious bruises, along with severe damage to the house and broken blinds. Down on the street the famous Rapid Response Brigades, together with State Security and police officers, were waiting for an order from the Ministry of Interior to lynch the peaceful activists who responded with slogans against the regime. The actions of Mijailé and of Evangelio del Pino, the first sentenced to two years imprisonment for prostitution and the second a former police officer. […] Both were rewarded for their 'courageous and outstanding' participation in the act of repudiation by the Department of State Security with cheese, ham and cooking oil," stated activist Randy Caballero Suarez from Baracoa, condemning the attack.
Part IV: 5 Opposition activists detained for protesting detentions; a pregnant woman left traumatized
Activists Néstor and Rolando Rodríguez Lobaina, Enyor Díaz Allen, Francisco Luis Manzanet Ortiz and Roberto González Pelegrín were detained for “disturbing the peace.” “At this moment they are detained (in Guantánamo) at the Operations Unit. […] They told me that the charges have been passed on to the Prosecutor’s office and are accused of public disorder and that the prosecutor’s office would respond the day after tomorrow. This Thursday they said they would receive a response as to whether they would take measures of preventive imprisonment or some other precautionary measure,” informed Yanet Mosquera Cayón, Rolando Rodríguez Lobaina’s wife.
The Communist mob invaded and ransacked the home of Néstor Rodríguez Lobaina, located at Calle Martí # 434, Apartment F and strip searched his wife. Daneisy Gálvez Pereira is eight months pregnant and State Security agents performed a vaginal cavity search on her in the course of their strip search. The trauma of the event has placed her pregnancy in danger of miscarriage.
Enyor was attacked and beaten with a heavy rock to force him to let go of the Cuban flag hanging on the balcony as members of the mob sought to drag it down from the floor below. The heavy blow from the rock to his chest caused him to release the flag. Gonzalez Pelegrin was injured by one of the flying projectiles.
Part V: Three of the detained activists have been on hunger strike for seven days.
Pelegrin was transferred from his prison cell to the Guantanamo provincial hospital on Wednesday August 18, 2010 suffering from dehydration. Roberto González Pelegrín, Francisco Luis Manzanet Ortiz, y Enyor Díaz Allen have been on hunger strike since Thursday, August 12, 2010.
Part VI: Activist leaders set August 23 as the date to launch a hunger strike demanding freedom
Yordis García Fournier and Eriberto Liranza Linares, whose detention sparked the protest that led to the detention of the others, were themselves released days later. Eriberto Liranza Linares was taken from the Guantanamo Operations Unit to Havana on Saturday, August 14, 2010 and released there. The police confiscated all his belongings, his cell phone among them, and never returned them.
Yordis García Fournier was present in the prison cells at State Security headquarters when the newly detained activists were being held and upon his release on Monday, August 16, 2010 and reported the decision of the activists to initiate a hunger strike on August 23 if they are not freed by that date.
“While I was detained, I communicated with the leader of the Cuban Youth for Democracy Movement (Néstor Rodríguez Lobaina) and he himself told me that if on Monday he were not freed as a State Security official had personally told him, they would go on an indefinite hunger strike and that he was seconded by his brother Rolando Rodríguez Lobaina and the others that are still hostages of the Havana regime. I emphasize this and at the same time I issue a call for solidarity with the Rodríguez Lobaina brothers and the other brothers-in-the-struggle held in that unfortunate situation.
The Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy, the Eastern Democratic Alliance and the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Resistance & Civil Disobedience Front demand that the Cuban government and State Security release them immediately,” stated Yordis García Fournier.