News24

Cuba frees top dissident without charge

2012-08-27 13:00

Havana - Cuban police freed leading dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer on Sunday after three days behind bars, without charge, a fellow activist said.

Ferrer was arrested at his home near Santiago de Cuba on Thursday, when police raided his home and confiscated documents, work equipment and other belongings, said Elizardo Sanchez, head of the banned but tolerated Cuban Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation.

"He was released in the morning, without charge, as with previous arrests," Sanchez said.

Ferrer, aged 41, leader of the banned Patriot Union of Cuba, was among 75 dissidents jailed and sentenced to long prison terms in 2003. But he was released last year through mediation from the Catholic Church.

The latest arrest was Ferrer's fourth this year alone. Police also took him in for three other days earlier in August, for 27 days in April and for 24 hours in May, due to his political activities against the communist regime of Raul Castro.

All opposition is illegal in Cuba and the government considers dissidents to be "mercenaries" in the pay of its top foe, the United States.