Cuban police detain journalist Fariñas and 15 other dissidents

Dissident journalist Guillermo Fariñas and 15 others were arrested on Jan. 26 in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara, EFE and AFP report. They were released without being charged, but ABC and El País report that they were given a “strong warning” for having engaged in civil disobedience.

Fariñas is one of the most famous Cuban dissidents, as he was involved in 135 days of hunger strikes in 2010. His health continued to worsen until President Raúl Castro agreed to release more than 50 political prisoners in July.

The news of his arrest was first spread by Generation Y blogger Yoani Sánchez’s Twitter account. “Guillermo Fariñas arrested in the 3rd ward of St. Clara, still has his cell on,” she said in her first post. Later she posted that she was “relieved” by his release.

Fariñas, winner of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, was arrested after participating in a protest, EFE adds.

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» EFE (Human Rights Watch Urges EU to Pressure Cuba)

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.