Cuban activist and high-profile dissident Guillermo Farinas was imprisoned by Cuban authorities on Friday for the third time in 48 hours. The authorities have told Farinas that he will be jailed [AP report] if he meets with other dissidents in public. Farinas was detained for the first time Wednesday, in his home city of Santa Clara. He was released later that evening, then arrested Thursday and released again Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, he had been picked up a third time, as he defied the prohibition against gathering in public. Farinas, and those he gathered with, wished to place a wreath on a monument to Cuban independence leader Jose Marti [backgrounder, in Spanish] to commemorate the 158th anniversary of his birthday.
In October, the European Parliament [official website] named Farinas [press release; JURIST report] as the recipient of its 2010 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought [official website]. Farinas has undergone multiple hunger strikes in support of political prisoners and to protest conditions in Cuba, and was the publisher of the now-defunct Cubanacan Press, which sought to raise awareness of the former's statuses. Last year, Farinas staged a 135-day hunger strike that helped persuade Cuba to agree to the release of 52 political prisoners [JURIST report] in an arrangement negotiated with the Roman Catholic Church [church website].