By Julian Pecquet, The HillA Cuban dissident who testified before Congress last week via video about repression by the island's communist regime has been arrested and “brutally beaten,” according to reports from the U.S.-based Cuban exile community.
Pro-democracy leader Jorge Luis García Pérez "Antúnez" was “arrested on Saturday afternoon, brutally beaten, doused with pepper spray until unconscious and violently removed from his cell by the authorities that evening,” his wife told Miami-based Radio Republica, according to the website Capitol Hill Cubans. Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera reportedly has not heard from him since.
Antúnez was one of three Cuban dissidents who testified from Cuba before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week. The hearing was called by the Senate's two Cuban-American members, Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who object to the Obama administration's policy of freer travel to Cuba.
"Antunez is a courageous human rights activist," Rubio said in an e-mail. "It is clear that he has been jailed and savagely beaten by criminals working for the Castro regime because he testified before the Senate last week.
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