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Posted July 24, 2003 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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HAVANA, July (http://www.cubanet.org) - A display of violence by police while arresting two young men led to strong remonstrations from bystanders, who surrounded the police car, banging and rocking it and calling the police “abusers” and “murderers” in an attempt to stop the abuse.

The police violence, characterized as “brutal” and “unnecessary” by eyewitnesses, was directed against two men buying dollars at the Marianao open market Sunday morning.

“Police arrived at about 10 in the morning, and everybody ran, even I ran and I had nothing to hide, because I just came to buy the newspaper,” said one woman who said she witnessed the incident from the newspaper stand.

Camila, a young woman who was there, said one policeman “shoved the black one into the patrol car and pushed his head between the two seats so that he would get hurt with the levers. A group of us approached and banged on the car to make him stop.”

An elderly woman who usually buys at the market said: “The other young man was being beaten senseless by the policeman. He told him not to hit him, that he would come along peacefully, but the policeman continued to beat him. Some of us told him to stop but it didn’t do any good.”

The market attracts produce sellers and their would-be customers, and along with them, black marketeers selling sundries such as candy, small articles of clothing, cigarettes, and money changers.

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