During the morning of Sunday, April 8th, the director of the Pinar del Rio Democratic Alliance- Raul Risco Perez – was on his way from Pinar del Rio province to Havana to pick up a couple of gifts which a friend had sent him from abroad, when he was arrested by various political police agents who also robbed his gifts- a laptop, printing ink, and a voice recorder, among other things.
At around 10 AM, Risco Perez had already met with a tourist who had done his friend a favor and brought the gifts to the dissident. After a brief meeting, the activist decided to start walking back to the bus terminal but was intercepted by three political police agents who asked him for identification. In a matter of just seconds, Risco was detained and shoved into a police vehicle [license plate # 606], all “under the orders of Major Stevenson“, said the dissident.
Risco was kept in a jail cell of the Havana police unit located on Zapata Street and C. He was there from 10 AM until 8 PM.
“The political police committed various crimes against me“, explained the dissident, “Firstly, it was a completely arbitrary arrest which sharply went against my citizen rights. Then, they confiscated – or better yet, robbed- a laptop which was given to me, ink for the printer, and a voice recorder. They kept all those things. They did not hand me a single document authorizing the occupation of my belongings nor did they give me a document explaining my arrest. I was kidnapped and kept in that police unit“. In addition, the penal functionaries prohibited Risco from communicating with his relatives and friends.
While in his punishment cell, Raul was threatened various times. One of these threats occurred when one official told him, in regards to his belongings, that “they are means which are used by us, the dissidents, to subvert the interior order of the country and to carry out acts of counter-revolution. They also said that they were not going to allow any of those things in Cuba, affirming that wherever they see one of these things they would confiscate them“.
After being released, the activist headed to the General Fiscal of the Republic where he presented a denouncement although he knew that his attempt would be futile. “Major Stevenson told me that I could make all the claims I wanted but that those things would not be returned to me because they were already confiscated“, explained the dissident.
Risco Perez expressed that the state-sponsored repression against him, and all other dissidents from Pinar del Rio, has noticeably increased. “The regime is taking many repressive measures against our organization- the Pinar del Rio Democratic Alliance- which is also the largest dissident group in Pinar del Rio. The harassment is nearly unbearable. We do not have a single minute or a single moment in which we are not under the tight surveillance of the oppressive forces“, he pointed out, adding that the repressors are not only uniformed officials of the political police, but also people who carry IDs which read Rapid Response Brigades or Collaborators of State Security. “These people are mostly of dubious social conduct“, said Perez.
“The last encounter I had with the State Security chief in the province of Pinar del Rio, he threatened with applying Law 88 [The Gag Law] against me as soon as the ‘high command gave the order’. He told me this was because I was the ‘leader’ of the ‘counter-revolution’ in Pinar del Rio“.
For more information from Cuba:
Raúl Risco Pérez – Cell Phone: +5352-452-317 // Twitter: @RaulRiscoPerez