A total of 6,602 political detentions were recorded in Cuba in 2012, a 60 percent surge from a year earlier, a rights watchdog said.
In December alone, such arrests — ranging from several hours to several days — reached 567 on this communist-ruled island, according to the Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN).
In 2011, the total number of arrests over the year was 4,123.
“Taking into account the opacity of the regime, the lack of public information and the impunity of law enforcement we can conclude without any doubt that the real figure of political arrests is higher every month,” the group, headed by dissident Elizardo Sanchez, said in a statement, released on Thursday.
“These figures are the statistical proof of increasing political repression,” it added.
The monthly average number of arrests for political reasons reached 550 in 2012, compared to 343 in 2011 and 172 in 2010, according to the commission.
The group also said the number of political prisoners “convicted or awaiting trial” in Cuba increased from 65 to 82 over the past months.