Cuban blogger fights the system

Agustin Valentin Lopez Canino

Agustin Valentin Lopez Canino is the author of the Cuban blog Dekaisone. He is also an independent journalist. Last November he was arbitrarily detained. He has filed a complaint with all the relevant Cuban authorities about this incident. The Czech NGO People in Need was given information about his case and posted it on www.eyeoncuba.org, which includes a map that shows where human rights abuses have occurred from all over Cuba and presents specific cases in detail.This is intended to raise awareness and attract greater public attention as a means of deterring the authorities from persecuting the victims.

Agustin saw a number of his basic human rights being violated on the day of his arrest. Firstly, he was detained without being given a reason. Then his mobile phone was taken away from him. In addition, he was taken to his cell through a back door without the authorities officially registering him. This was done so that there would be no official records of his imprisonment. Although he insisted throughout the day that he be told why he had been arrested, no clear answer was given to him. The police officers who were present even admitted that they had broken the law, but stated that they knew that they would not be sanctioned. After six hours he was finally released.

People in Need condemns these actions and asks the Cuban authorities to stop all short-term arbitrary detentions in Cuba – these can vary from a few hours to a few days – which have been happening far too often and represent one of the main tools that the Cuban authorities use to intimidate and weaken both physically and psychologically anyone who opposes them.

Here are a few more cases from the EYE on CUBA database:
On November 18, 2013, Maceo Mileidis Quiñones participated in a literary tea in Vista Hermosa (Santiago de Cuba), when officers from the Rapid Response Unit of the National Police and other security agencies broke into the house. The authorities beat and arrested a number of the women who were present. Maceo Quiñones was detained for six hours.

On March 8, 2014, Manuel Pupo Rodríguez, a member of the Union for Free Cuba political party, was arrested by agents of the State Security and the National Police when leaving the party headquarters located in the town of Bouvier after a monthly meeting. He was brought to Santiago de las Vegas Police Station where he was detained for six hours.

The EYE on CUBA project aims to be a trustworthy source of information about human rights abuse cases in Cuba based on the fact that these cases are being reported on by trusted individuals on the island. The project is also intended to put pressure on Cuban authorities to respect fundamental human rights.

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Miranda Fuertes is human rights defender focused on Cuba and based in Prague, Czech Republic