The number of arbitrary arrests in Cuba has reached a record high over the last nine months, according to The Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation.
Last July, the Cuban regime made 575 “arbitrary political motions of peaceful dissidents”, equivalent to 200 arrests more than the previous month.
The report also found that in 32 of the cases of harassment, intimidation and repudiation, 13 physical attacks were “executed or orchestrated by the secret police.”
Additionally, the Commission recorded at least 12 incidents of “retention” in which people were held at the airport. The Ministry of Interior reportedly justified those actions by claiming that they “comply with higher orders” or by explaining that the names appear on a “black list.”
“The Government is systematically seeking to block the right of its opponents to travel through the use of force, primarily to Latin American countries, in order to attend conferences related to the development of civil society,” the Commission said.
With records from last July, cases of political arrest increased to 3,195. However, the Cuban regime denied that there are political prisoners on the island. According to the Raúl Castro’s regime, there are only inmates for common crimes, who he considers dissidents “counterrevolutionaries” and “mercenaries.”
During the same period of the previous year (from January to July) the CCDNHR recorded 7,418 detentions, which shows an overall reduction.
The Cuban Observatory for Human Rights has explained that although the figure is “significantly” lower than in the same period of 2016, “the levels of repression are equal or greater.”
It also said that the decrease in the number of arrests was due to a “change in its repressive mechanisms” and not to a positive change by island authorities.