Claudia CadeloBlog: http://www.octavocerco.blogspot.com/
Released on 06 Nov 2009
Campaign Site: http://threatened.globalvoicesonline.org/
On November 6th, 2009, Claudia Cadelo, Orlando Luís Pardo Lazo and Yoani Sanchez were corralled by Cuban authorities while en route to a street demonstration against violence. Claudia and a friend were detained while Yoani and Orlando Luis were violently beaten.
Cuban authorities demanded that Yoani enter their police vehicle. When she vehemently requested that they show identification or a warrant for her arrest the officers grew frustrated and placed a phone call to their superiors. Yoani started to yell: "Help! These men want to kidnap us." The officers then warned concerned bystanders not get involved because Yoani and Orlando were "counter-revolutionaries." As soon as the telephone conversation ended the beatings began. Yoani was carried and forcibly shoved amid blows into the vehicle but not before she grabbed a note from the pocket of one of the officers and put it in her mouth.
Orlando was already in the vehicle at this point. He was in a headlock and rendered immobile with his head to the floor. While one officer had his knee to Yoani's chest another punched her in the kidneys in an attempt to retrieve the document she had taken from them. "This is it for you Yoani; your shenanigans are over," said an officer as he pulled her hair. In an act of pure desperation, Yoani grabbed the man's groin and plunged her nails in as she screamed, "Kill me already!" He removed his knee from her chest but she could still hear Orlando's grunts as the pounding blows continued. Once the officers were through, they left the bruised and exhausted pair on the street.
"We refused to get in the car, there were three of them and they threatened us:
‘Get in the car, now.' ‘Let us see your documents, or bring a policeman.'
Orlando had his cell phone in his hand. ‘Pardo, don’t record,' said the one in the orange shirt, and I got my cell out. Nobody noticed me, I sent the first Tweet… In less than three minutes a patrol car came up with a couple of cops—a woman and a man—completely dumbstruck by the scene. The carried out their orders almost in slow motion, the woman told me:
‘They are undocumented,' it occurred to me to enlighten her.
Yoani was clinging to a bush, I was clinging to her waist, and the woman was pulling me by the leg. They had already dragged Orlando off, outside my field of vision. A man at the bus-stop looked on with an expression of terror, people didn’t say a single word. The officer, very young, got me in an armlock that immobilized me. I could have kicked a little but I was too astonished at seeing Yoani’s legs sticking out the rear window of the State Security car."
This information is based on Yoani's blog post. To read her full account please visit: Desde Cuba.