May 10th, 2010
06:16 PM ET

Rights activist: Cuban blogger released from prison

Independent Cuban journalist and blogger Dania Garcia has been released from prison, according to the head of Cuba's independent Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation.

Elizardo Sanchez of the commission told CNN that the 23 year-old Garcia, who has been a supporter of a dissident group called the Ladies in White, was released Friday evening after being imprisoned on charges of "abuse of authority."

She was arrested on April 20, tried three days later, and had been held at a women's prison outside Havana on a 20-month sentence.

The circumstances surrounding her release were not immediately clear.

The Ladies in White are friends and relatives of dissidents jailed during a 2003 government crackdown.

Members of the group march every Sunday in protest. Recently their marches had drawn groups of pro-government demonstrators, who would rountinely surround the women and drown out their chants of "Freedom" with slogans such as, "This street belongs to Fidel."

Cuba's Roman Catholic cardinal, Jaime Ortega, successfully bargained in rare a agreement with government authorities to allow the women to march.

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Filed under: Cuba • Human rights
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