Detention of 100 activists in Cuba worries US

US State Department announces its worries over detentions of 100 activists in Cuba

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The US officials expressed concerns over the detention of 100 activists in Cuba, on Tuesday but added it will not hamper recent rapprochement with Cuba.  

The US State Department spokesman John Kirby said the department raised concern over the reports of the battering and detention of an activist, Antonio Rodiles, and the other detentions of 100 activists in Cuba.

"Certainly it's concerning to us, we're always going to be very vocal and very candid about human rights concerns wherever we see them,” said Kirby.

Despite the worries, officials say they will not slow down the improvement of political and diplomatic ties between Washington and Havana.

"In fact, it reinforces the need to move forward with re-establishing diplomatic relations because opening that embassy, we believe, will advance our human rights agenda by opening up channels of official engagement," Kirby added.

The US and Cuba agreed last week to better diplomatic ties as of July 20 with the opening of embassies in Havana and Washington after more than 50 years of enmity between the two countries.

The US and Cuba had started a diplomatic rapprochement process with an announcement from US President Barack Obama on Dec. 17, 2014, and treatment of political dissidents is one of the most important issues in negotiations between the American and Cuban authorities.

Ladies in White, a group which organises a legally permitted march in Havana on behalf of political prisoners every Sunday, reported that police detained over 100 people before and after last Sunday's event.

Cuba's top dissident human rights commission reported 563 short-term detentions in June adding that there has been an average of over 400 short-term detentions each month in this year.

The Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation says there are 60 political prisoners in Cuba in addition to dozens of peaceful political activists while Cuba's Communist government denies the accusations, saying it has no political prisoners.


TRTWorld and agencies