Yasmin Conyedo Riverón, Independent Journalist and representative of the Ladies in White in Santa Clara, and her activist husband Yusmani Rafael Alvarez, both 24 years old, were arrested on Jan. 8 in that city after an act of repudiation in their home which prevented them from attending Mass at a church.
Since then the two were detained in the prison at Guamajal and then Pendiente since being transferred on January 16th The charges for which they were accused were withdrawn.
Amnesty International has named the two Prisoners of Conscience. In the words of Amnesty International:
After the mass releases of prisoners of conscience in 2011, the human rights situation is far from ideal in Cuba, but rather the contrary. The Cuban authorities have intensified their strategy to silence dissent by harassing activists and journalists, who are subjected to brief detentions and public acts of repudiation. The Cuban authorities still do not tolerate any criticism of government policies outside of the formal mechanisms under their control.
In the past 24 months Amnesty International notes a sharp increase in harassment and arrests against political dissidents, human rights activists, journalists and bloggers from all over Cuba. Since March 2011, for example, 65 independent journalists have been arrested, most on more than one occasion.
Amnesty International considers Yasmin Conyedo Riverón and Yusmani Rafael Alvarez to be prisoners of conscience because they have peacefully exercised their legitimate rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly
Parallel to the pressure created by Amnesty International, a Cuban Group Libertad Ya delivered booklets about the case and began to collect petitions demanding the release of Yasmin and Yusmani. And on April 5, after almost 90 days of detention, the pair was released. However, a local member of the Communist Party has falsely accused Yasmin of slapping her. Even though she later retracted these charges, Yasmin and Yusmani still face trial. If convicted they could receive eightyears imprisonment. A trial date has not been set.
Amnesty International called on the authorities of Cuba to withdraw the charges against this couple, related to the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression