Cuban dissident arrested after meeting with European leaders
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Last Updated: Sunday, January 26, 2014, 03:57
  
Havana: Leading Cuban dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer has been arrested after meeting with European diplomats in Havana, activists said Saturday.

Elizardo Sanchez, founder and leader of the illegal but tolerated Cuban Human Rights and National Reconciliation Commission, said Ferrer was arrested late Friday and that it was unclear where he had been taken.

Ferrer lives in Santiago de Cuba, some 900 kilometers (560 miles) southeast of Havana, where he leads the Patriotic Cuban Union dissident group.

"He was detained late Friday near my home, where he had been a guest," Sanchez told AFP.

"We have no idea where he is," he said, blasting his friend's detention as "arbitrary."

It was not immediately known which diplomats Ferrer had met prior to being detained.

Opposition leaders had expressed fear that the government would carry out "preventive detentions" ahead of next week's meetings of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

The January 28-29 gathering is to host a number of important international officials, including Jose Miguel Insulza, leader of the Organization of American States.

The goal of the summit is to address ways to combat poverty, hunger and inequality in the region.

Ferrer had vowed to stage his own summit of opposition activists in Cuba during next week's meetings.

The award-winning Ladies in White dissident group said earlier this week that it would push for an audience with Insulza during his Cuba visit.

The group -- wives and relatives of Cuban political prisoners -- holds weekly marches in Havana. It was awarded the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize in 2005.

AFP

First Published: Sunday, January 26, 2014, 03:57


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