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Latino Daily News

Monday December 12, 2011

Ladies in White Harassed in Havana After Weekly Procession

Ladies in White Harassed in Havana After Weekly Procession

Photo: Ladies in White

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Members of the dissident movement Ladies in White, which fights for the freeing of political prisoners, were harassed by government supporters after their weekly procession in the Cuban capital.

The Ladies were surrounded Sunday by dozens of men and women shouting “mercenaries, worms,” and chanting revolutionary slogans in the presence of police who closed the area to traffic.

The dissidents sat down in the middle of the street to resist being put on several buses that the supporters of the Communist government finally forced them to get on, pushing and shoving them in one of their demonstrations known as an “Act of Repudiation.”

The incident lasted 1/2 hour and occurred after some 50 members of the Ladies in White marched through the streets in an event commemorating their late leader, Laura Pollan, at a park near the church where the group attended Mass on Sunday.

The Ladies also complained that they were harassed the day before at their headquarters in Pollan’s home, where 28 members of the group were confined until Saturday night and where they commemorated the United Nations’ Human Rights Day.

Berta Soler, spokeswoman for the movement, told Efe Monday that “they didn’t respect our right to go out into the streets, but we spent the day as we wanted to because we exercised out right to free speech reading the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

They also complained of repression against a score of Ladies among the dozens of dissidents arrested over the last few days.

According to the opposition Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation, more than 200 temporary arrests were inflicted on the island in the first nine days of December.