Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez freed from detention
HAVANA, Cuba (AP) — Cuban authorities released noted blogger Yoani Sanchez more than a day after she was taken into custody near the eastern city of Bayamo, where she traveled for a Spanish man's trial over a car crash that killed another prominent dissident.
Sanchez said via Twitter that authorities "deported" her and her husband back to their Havana home late Friday night, and that she had been held for 30 hours.
"We were released! Thanks to all those who raised their voices and their tweets so we were able to return home," she wrote.
Sanchez, her husband and another man were detained Thursday before they could reach Bayamo, where she said she intended to cover the trial of Spaniard Angel Carromero as a journalist. Sanchez has gained international fame - and raised the ire of island authorities - with her descriptions of daily life in Cuba on her blog Generation Y, and she also writes for Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Calls to Sanchez's cell phone were not answered yesterday, but her husband, Reinaldo Escobar, said police were polite, though they insisted the couple would not be allowed to attend the trial because their presence would be provocative. After a few hours at a detention center, they were loaded into a vehicle and driven back to Havana.
"They dropped us off in front of our building at night," Escobar said.
The detentions had been criticized by international press and human rights groups, as well as governments including Washington. Human rights monitors complain that Cuba has adopted a tactic of short-term detentions lasting a few hours or a couple of days to harass dissidents and disrupt their activities.