US, Amnesty critical of Cuban dissident detentions

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba is facing criticism from dissidents, the United States and Amnesty International over the detention of dozens of people at a prominent opposition leader's funeral.

A few hundred people gathered at a church Tuesday to pay respects to Oswaldo Paya, who died Sunday in a car crash.

Outside the church a scrum broke out between state security agents and dissidents who yelled "freedom!"

Dissident Guillermo Farinas said police herded more than 40 people onto buses. They were taken to police stations and released hours later.

Cuba considers the dissidents "counterrevolutionaries" bent on undermining the government at Washington's behest.

The White House said Wednesday in a statement that the detentions "provide a stark demonstration of the climate of repression in Cuba."

Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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