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HAVANA -- Cuban police have released 32 members of the Ladies in White who had been arrested across their country, the dissident group's leader Berta Soler said Saturday.
"These women have been released little by little, because the objective was to prevent them from getting to Havana on Saturday," where they had planned a "literary tea" dedicated to political dissidents in honor of Father's Day, Soler told AFP.
She said dozens of women had gathered at the group's headquarters to hold the event there.
The groups claims that other women have been prevented from reaching the site and were being monitored by police.
The Ladies in White are a human rights group founded by women whose husbands or family members were arrested in 2003 during a crackdown that put 75 people in jail.
Known locally as the "Damas," the Ladies in White -- which won the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize in 2005 -- stage a silent protest march dressed entirely in white after mass in central Havana every Sunday.
The Cuban government, which did not comment on the arrests, accuses opponents of the Communist regime of being at the pay of the United States.