Human rights: statement on the detention of Guillermo Fariñas 

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In light of the detention of Sakharov Prize laureate Guillermo Fariñas in Cuba, Parliament Vice-President Heidi Hautala and the Chair of the Human Rights Subcommittee Maria Arena stated:

“We learned with deep consternation that the Cuban authorities have arrested 2010 Sakharov Prize laureate Guillermo Fariñas and are detaining him in an unknown location. He was preparing to come to Brussels, invited by the European Parliament, to participate in a meeting of the Subcommittee on Human Rights. We urge the Cuban authorities to ensure Guillermo Fariñas' fundamental rights and allow him to travel to Europe."

European Parliament Vice-President Heidi Hautala (The Greens/EFA, FI), who is responsible for the Sakharov Prize Community, said: “Guillermo Fariñas is a symbol of the peaceful fight for the respect of human rights in Cuba. He is under arrest for his activism and must be immediately released."

Subcommittee on Human Rights Chair Maria Arena (S&D, BE) added: “After José Daniel Ferrer's arrest last October, Fariñas' detention confirms a worrying trend of increasing repression against political dissidents in Cuba. The authorities must understand that respect for basic liberties is essential for a constructive dialogue and cooperation between Cuba and the European Union.”