Cuba dissidents ask Church to stop harassment by state

By REUTERS
August 31, 2011 03:32

 
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HAVANA - Leaders of the dissident group Ladies in White asked the Catholic Church on Tuesday to intervene with the Cuban government to end what they described as violent acts against them and other human rights activists.

They said government supporters had recently roughed up members of the group in Havana and a newly formed chapter in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba and had given similar treatment to other dissidents.

Laura Pollan and Berta Soler told reporters they met with Church officials, but not Church leader Cardinal Jaime Ortega as planned because he was tired after returning from a trip.

"We asked the Catholic Church, which is our mediator, to end the harassment and the beatings of the Ladies in White ... and human rights activists," Soler said after the two emerged from the meeting at the Church's headquarters in Havana.

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