Cuba rights group reports record number of dissident detentions News
Cuba rights group reports record number of dissident detentions

[JURIST] The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCHRN) [advocacy website, in Spanish] reported [official report, PDF in Spanish] on Monday that the Cuban government detained 8,899 dissidents and activists in 2014. These detentions mark a significant increase from previous years—2,000 more than in 2013 and four times the number in 2010. Detentions vary in length from a few hours to a few days but do not result in incarceration. The report also states that 489 of these arbitrary detentions were political in nature, and that regardless of recent reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US, the state of fundamental rights in the former is still the worst in the western hemisphere.

The Cuban government has a long history of suppressing political dissenters [HRW backgrounder] through physical, mental and economic attacks. In late January 2014 several human rights groups banded together to condemn [JURIST report] the Cuban government’s detention of dissidents in order to prevent them from interfering with a summit where Raul Castro [BBC backgrounder] would be speaking. The announcement [JURIST report] by US President Barack Obama in mid-December that the US would rekindle diplomatic relations with Cuba carried with it the hope that it would be an impetus to improve the Cuban people’s situation, but the CCHRN report denies any palatable change as of yet.