Cuban authorities have arrested dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez in the city Bayamo, where she was attending the trial of a man charged in the driving death of another dissident.
Sanchez, who writes the Generation Y blog that discusses shortcomings of the Caribbean island’s communist government, was provoking a “media show” over the trial, the pro-government Cuban blog Yohandry said.
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On Twitter, government journalist Garcia Ginarte wrote she was accused of trying to do damage to the proceedings as an "illegal correspondent."
Sanchez was taken into custody while rallying outside the trial of Spanish political activist Angel Carromero, according to Bloomberg.
Her husband, Reinaldo Escobar, was also arrested, Reuters reported.
“It’s part of a pattern by the Cuban government of systematic and brief detentions to prevent dissidents attending rallies to shine any light on what they don’t want publicity for,” Ted Henken, a professor of Latin American studies at Baruch College in New York who writes about Cuban bloggers, told Bloomberg. “Sanchez is probably the most prominent lightning rod for that.”
Human rights activists say at least another half-dozen dissidents have been detained in the city, where trial proceedings are under way in the high-profile Carromero case.
Carromero is being charged with the equivalent of vehicular homicide and facing up to 10 years in prison for his role as the driver in a horrific car crash that killed Cuban dissident leader Oswaldo Paya and another Cuban activist on July 22 near Bayamo.
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The newspaper El Pais in Madrid said on its website that the 37-year-old Sanchez was its freelance correspondent.
Efforts to reach her by phone were unsuccessful.