HAVANA, March 24, 2011 (AFP) – Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas, winner
of the 2010 international Sakharov rights prize, said Wednesday he was
detained for several hours along with other opposition figures.
"I was arrested along with other brothers (Tuesday) night when we went
to our homes, because apparently they thought we were going to carry out
some activity," Farinas, 48, told AFP by telephone from his home east of
The online journalist, who led a 135-day hunger strike in 2010 to demand
the release of political prisoners, said he was released on Wednesday
without being told why he had been detained.
He said he suffered chest pains at one point during his detention and
was taken to a local hospital for tests.
The activist has been detained on a number of occasions this year by the
Americas' only one-party communist regime.
His chair stood empty when he received the prestigious Sakharov prize in
December — in an echo of the Nobel Prize ceremony for jailed Chinese
dissident Liu Xiaobo — but he accepted the prize with a recorded message.
In the message to the European Parliament, which awards the prize, he
slammed the Cuban regime as "totalitarian", "autocratic" and "savage",
bringing the more than 700 parliamentarians to their feet in applause.
The government views Farinas and other dissidents as "mercenaries" on