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Feb 13,2008
Cuba: Arrest of student not confirmed
by UPI

HAVANA -- A report that a Cuban was arrested after appearing on an Internet video criticizing the government could not be verified, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

Human rights groups said Cuban student Eliecer Avila was taken from his home during the weekend after being seen in a widely viewed Internet video questioning National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon.

However, efforts to reach Avilia's mother and Cuban human rights officials to confirm his arrest, reported by the Herald Monday, could not be confirmed.

Avila was one of a handful of students who quizzed Alcaron about the communist island's repressive laws and her effort has attracted a wide audience on the Internet.

In the video, a student questioned the "possible merits" of candidates in the recent elections. All the candidates in the January elections were from the ruling communist party.

Traditionally, Cuban authorities retain tight control of the media on the island and disallow most criticism of communism.

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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