Hunger strike in Cuba
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    Five freed in US-Cuba rapprochement back in custody: rights group

    Five freed in US-Cuba rapprochement back in custody: rights group

    HAVANA, Cuba — Five dissidents freed as Havana launched a high-profile
    diplomatic rapprochement with the United States are back in custody in
    Cuba, a human rights group said Monday.

    The five were among 53 political prisoners released in 2014 and early
    2015 as Washington and Havana moved to restore ties after a half-century

    The Cuban Commission on Human Rights, an officially outlawed but
    tolerated group, said the five “were confined in high-security prisons
    in the second half of 2015.”

    They include Vladimir Morera, who had been hospitalized since launching
    a hunger strike on October 9. The United States last week called on the
    government to release him.

    On Monday, Morera’s son, Vladier Morera, said his father started eating
    again on December 31.

    The son said he did not know if this was voluntary on his father’s part.
    “All I know is that he is eating again, and that he is speaking
    incoherently because the doctors say he was very weak,” Morera said.

    The others back in custody are Wilfredo Parada Milian, Jorge Ramírez
    Calderón, Carlos Manuel Figueroa and Aracelio Ribeaux Noa, according to
    the rights group.

    All five were jailed “as a result of rigged trials and without due
    process,” it said.

    Cuban authorities did not comment. But the Americas’ only communist
    government routinely denies it is holding political prisoners and says
    those jailed are in for common crimes.

    The rights group reported that 8,616 people were detained for political
    reasons in 2015, most of whom were released after several hours. That
    was down from 2014, when 8,889 Cubans were detained for political
    reasons, according to the group.

    It said “political repression” continued in 2015 “despite the well-known
    expectations awakened by the announcement of the re-establishment of
    diplomatic relations” between Havana and Washington.

    On December 29, Roberta Jacobson, the U.S. State Department’s pointwoman
    for Latin America, called on the government of President Raúl Castro to
    free Morera, who she said had been jailed for dissenting peacefully.

    Morera, 44, was sentenced to four years in prison in April for allegedly
    causing bodily harm during a scuffle with pro-government militants in
    which a woman was injured. His family denies the charges.

    Source: Five freed in US-Cuba rapprochement back in custody: rights
    group -The Tico Times –

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