UPDATED, Jan. 19, 2012 -- Ivonne Malleza, Ignacio Martinez and Isabel Alvarez were released from jail on Jan. 19, 2012.
Cuban Dama De Blanco Ivonne Malleza Galano on Nov. 30 took her opposition to the Castro dictatorship to a Havana park and for it, she is paying a heavy price.
Malleza, another Dama, Blanca Hernandez and Malleza's husband Ignacio Martínez Montejo were beaten and arrested after the women went to Fraternity Park and unfurled a sheet proclaiming in Spanish, "Enough of the lies and of the deception of Cuban people. Stop hunger, misery and poverty in Cuba."
Hernandez was later released, but Malleza and Martinez are still in police custody. Martinez is being held at the Acosta police station in Havana.
Ominously, Malleza is missing, her whereabouts unknown, with concerns heightening about her health and what the Castro police have done to her.
Amnesty International late last week joined those raising concerns about Malleza:
On 30 November, Ivonne Malleza Galano, a member of the Ladies in Support (Damas de Apoyo) to the Ladies in White (Damas de Blanco), and her husbandIgnacio Martínez Montejo were arrested by police officers while they were staging a peaceful demonstration against hunger and poverty and holding a banner with the slogan “Stop hunger, misery and poverty in Cuba” in Fraternity Park (Parque de la Fraternidad) in Havana City. Ivonne Malleza Galano was handcuffed and pushed into a police vehicle. Two police officers arrived, tried to confiscate the banner and detained her, along with Ignacio Martínez Montejo. Video footage posted on the internet shows Ivonne Malleza Galano being arrested by the police officers at Fraternity Park while the crowd gathered round her and asked the officers to let her go.
The whereabouts of Ivonne Malleza Galano are unknown and the authorities have not told her relatives whether she is still in police custody, whether she is facing charges, and where she is held. Ignacio Martinez Montejo is still being held at the Ninth Police Station (Novena Estación de la Policía) on Acosta Avenue, Diez de Octubre Municipality, in Havana City. It is not known if he has been charged with any offence.Since the beginning of the year, the Cuban authorities have detained hundreds of people for short periods, toprevent them from taking part in peaceful demonstrations.
Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:- Calling on the authorities to immediately reveal the whereabouts of Ivonne Malleza Galano, and to ensure that she has immediate access to her family, lawyer and any medical assistance she might require;- Asking for details of any charges they face to be made public, and calling on the authorities to ensure that any legal proceedings against them conform to international fair trial standards;- Urging the authorities to remove unlawful restrictions on freedoms of expression, association and assembly in Cuba.