After 62 days in hunger strike, Tomas Nuñez was released
Representatives of Diario de Cuba (Cuba Diary) along with other civil society organisations participated in the 169th Period of Ordinary Sessions of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights and called the attention of the Commission to the new tactics of repression of activists used by the government over the last two years. Some of the activists, unable to travel to Washington, DC for the hearing, shared their testimonies on video. The Commission regretted that representatives from the state of Cuba did not attend the hearing, which meant "that an opportunity for dialogue had been lost".
The political prisoner Tomas Nuñez Magdariaga was released on 15th October 2018 after 62 days in a hunger strike. Nuñez started the strike to reject an unjustified sentence of one year in prison for his activism as part of the Union Nacional Patriotica de Cuba (UNPACU). After his release, Nuñez told the press about the torture and mistreatment he was subject to in prison. He was beaten, isolated, sent to a jail without clothes before the police finally released him.
Marches and mobilisations took place in different provinces of the country with the #TodosMarchamos campaign for the release of political prisoners. On 14th October 2018, 63 women activists of Damas de Blanco marched and participated in the Sunday Mass on the 7th anniversary of Laura Pollan's death. 26 of the participants were arrested by the police. As every Sunday, the 21st and 28th of October 2018, and on the 4th and 11th November 2018, the Damas de Blanco marched again and were again victims of arbitrary arrests by strong operatives of the Cuban government.
Buenos días, aquí les dejo una entrevista que le hicimos en el diario @14ymedio a Tomás Nuñez Magdariaga a pocas horas de ser liberado: "Antes de morirme tengo que ver a mi país libre" https://t.co/mfjmVSCmek pic.twitter.com/dPrI5Ymeem— Yoani Sánchez (@yoanisanchez) October 16, 2018
#Cuba - Según @observacuba 210 personas fueron detenidas arbitrariamente durante el mes de Noviembre. Solicitamos a la comunidad internacional pronunciarse ante esta evidente violación de los derechos humanos de los cubanos #PresosPorqué #CubaDecide --- https://t.co/afXmu6s1RY pic.twitter.com/8uvTqonQJo— Race and Equality (@raceandequality) December 3, 2018
On 11th October 2018, two police officers interrogated Manuel Morejón, member of the Asociación Pro Libertad de Prensa (APLP), and threatened to expel his wife, a Czech national, from the country. The APLP denounced that harassment against its members intensified after they presented a report for the country’s UN Universal Periodic Review 2018.
The regional vice president for Cuba of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information of the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), Henry Constantin Ferreiro, presented a report regarding the freedom of expression situation in the country. The report stated that despite the election of a new President "journalism [continues] to experience a tsunami of police repression and months of continuous psychological torture".
On 30th October 2018, police officers arrested Marelis Fonseca Vitres, wife of the journalist Roberto Rodriguez, and subsequently interrogated her in order to charge her with the crime of "enemy propaganda". Fonseca was released later the same day with a "warning act" that she refused to sign. After this action, the APLP calls for international solidarity with independent Cuban journalism. In addition, on 31st October 2018, Yunior Berges González was detained for 24 hours and threatened with charges if he continued reporting for Radio Marti. On 9th November 2018, Canadian photojournalist David Himbert was detained by police and after an extensive interrogation, he was taken to the airport to take a flight back to Montreal.