The president of the European Parliament calls for the release of Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas

The president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, urged Cuba on Thursday to release the opponent Guillermo Fariñas, who was arrested on Wednesday without knowing at the moment if he is charged with any crime.

«I call for the immediate release of Guillermo Fariñas, Sakharov Prize of the European Parliament in 2010, arrested in Cuba. Freedom of thought is a right that should not be deprived of any person, ”Sassoli wrote on his Twitter account.

The request of the socialist Sassoli came hours after the vice president of the European Parliament and environmental deputy Heidi Hautala and the president of the Human Rights subcommittee of the European Parliament and socialist parliamentarian, Maria Arena, expressed their “deep dismay” at the arrest of Fariñas

The Cuban opponent, who was preparing a trip to Brussels to participate in a meeting of the European Chamber of Human Rights subcommittee, was arrested Tuesday in Santa Clara, the city of central Cuba where he lives, when he was heading to Havana to Pick up a visa on the occasion of this trip to Europe, which also included a stop in Spain.

“We urge the Cuban authorities to secure the fundamental rights of Guillermo Fariñas and allow him to travel to Europe,” the two MEPs said in a statement.

Hautala stressed that Fariñas is “a symbol of the peaceful struggle for human rights in Cuba” and said he has been arrested for his activism, while Arena stressed that this arrest confirms “a worrying trend of growing repression against political dissidents in Cuba ».

The arrest of Fariñas adds to that of the well-known dissident José Daniel Ferrer, who has been in prison for more than four months for an alleged assault, although his family and colleagues say it is a “fabricated crime.”

The European Parliament in November demanded the release of Ferrer and then asked the European Union to review its association agreement with Cuba for a breach of the clause that requires respect for human rights. .

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