By Beyza Binnur Donmez
ANKARA (AA) - The US on Friday imposed sanctions on Cuba's Interior Ministry and Minister Alberto Alvarez Casas for "serious human rights abuse."
The ministry, or MININT, is being designated "for being a foreign person who is responsible for or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse," while Alvarez Casas designated for "being a foreign person who is the leader or official of MININT, an entity that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse relating to his tenure," the Treasury Department said in a statement.
The agency was referring to a case in September when a Cuban dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer was held in a MININT-controlled prison in Cuba, and he was reportedly "being beaten, tortured, and held in isolation."
It claimed that Ferrer received no medical attention while in prison. Alvarez Casas served as the vice minister of MININT until Nov. 25 before being promoted to the position of Minister of the Interior.
"The Cuban regime has a long history of human rights abuse," said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The United States will continue to use all the tools at its disposal to address the dire human rights situation in Cuba and elsewhere around the world.”
With the designation, all property and interests in property of these persons that are blocked under the Cuban Assets Control Regulations continue to be blocked.