Cuban activists report sweeps by police

Pro-democracy opposition leaders in Cuba say that more than 300 activists were grabbed by police Sunday in various parts of the island. Police injured some activists and raided two offices of the Unión Patriótica de Cuba, said the organization in an email.

Most of the activists were held for from two to eight hours, although some might still be in jail, said the organization Monday.

The bulk of those detained were in the streets seeking the liberation of three Cubans who managed to reach Pope Francis while he was in Havana Sept. 20. Two of the trio, Zaqueo Báez and Ismael Bonet, have been on a hunger strike since their detentions, said Unión Patriótica. The third person detained is María Josefa Acón.

The organization said the bulk of the detentions took place in Santiago de Cuba with 121 and La Habana with more than 90 including some members of the Damas de Blanco. Some of those detained were associated with the Frente de Resistencia Orlando Zapata, Unión Patriótica, said.

In Camagüey, Guantánamo, Holguín, Las Tunas, Pinar del Rio and Isla de la Juventud other detentions were reported, said Unión Patriótica.

Unión Patriótica said that Ministerio del Interior agents also raided its main office and carried away printed material, cables and hundreds of DVDs. The organization complained that 40 cell telephones carried by its members and associated activists were blocked.

Yriade Hernández Aguilera, a coordinator for the organization, suffered a bloody nose while he was protesting the beatings of other activists, said Unión Patriótica.

The organization released a list of  226 of its members and members of the Frente who were detained.

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