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Thousands of Cubans arrested for taking part in anti-government protests - report

According to reports from civil society and other sources, The security forces have detained more than 5,000 Cubans -- including 120 activists and journalists -- for joining anti-government protests that were held to strongly react to the food shortages and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published July 15,2021
Cuban protesters arrested during an anti-government demonstration in Havana [AFP]
Thousands of protesters have been detained in Cuba during three days of protests against the government, according to compiled reports.

More than 5,000 were detained, including 120 activists and journalists, according to reports from civil society and other sources compiled by online news site 14ymedio.

The security forces have used brutal methods in some cases, including in a video confirmed by Human Rights Watch on Wednesday.

The video shows how security forces in the city of Cardenas try to push their way into the front entrance of an apartment while a woman inside with a child screams "my children" and "why are you doing this?"

An officer with a raised pistol then approaches the apartment from another direction. A part of the video that appears to have been recorded later shows a pool of blood on the floor.

The website CiberCuba reported that the woman's husband was shot and beaten in front of his family and then taken away.

State media reported one death at a Monday protest in Havana.

The 36-year-old with previous convictions had attempted to attack a police station as part of an "organized group of antisocial and critical elements," state media reported, without giving details of the circumstances of his death.

On Sunday, thousands of Cubans took to the streets in protests against government repression and the country's economic problems.

It marked the first time in years that such protests had taken place in the Caribbean country.

Cuba's economy is suffering from the collapse of tourism during the pandemic and from US sanctions, and there are shortages of food and medicines.