Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Cuba1 December 2005

Communist Party organises raids on journalists involved in independent training

Reporters Without Borders today condemned an operation by government agents and paramilitaries on 22 November in which intimidation and force was used to prevent participants in a training workshop for independent journalists from attending a party to mark the end of the course.

“We condemn this all the more firmly as it was targeted at journalists and would-be journalists whose only crime was to get training outside of official channels and to want to promote a free, quality press in Cuba,” the press freedom organisation said.

Among those who received visits at home from paramilitary groups members were students Feliberto Pérez and Julio Sánchez, who were threatened with reprisals if they left their homes.

Alexander García Mujica, the editor of the Villa Blanca Press agency, and Félix Reyes Gutiérrez of the Cubanacán Press agency were also forced to stay in their homes. García was warned that if he went out, “no one will be responsible for what happens to you.” Reyes was put under surveillance by Communist Party members and his telephone was confiscated.

Alejandro Tur Valladares, the editor of the Jagua Press agency and a member of the training panel, was arrested as he was leaving his home and taken to a Communist Party office where he was threatened with imprisonment and was not released until six hours had passed. The same happened to student Francisco Blanco Sanabria.

Cubanacán Press editor Guillermo Fariñas, who coordinated the workshop training, received a visit from three military personnel the day after the party. He told Reporters Without Borders the three soldiers said to him they would not tolerate any more independent training.

The workshop was organised by the Marta Abreu Social Studies Forum and the Free Cultural Institute of the central city of Santa Clara, founded in April 2001 by independent journalist Omar Moíses Ruiz Hernández, who was arrested in March 2003 and is now serving an 18-year prison sentence.

In this country
20 May - Cuba
Anyone can browse the Internet... unless they are Cuban
15 May - Cuba
Journalist gets three-year jail sentence
24 February - Cuba
After a year of Raúl Castro as president, political opening still ignores imprisoned journalists
3 February - Cuba
As UN conducts universal periodic review, 205 political prisoners, including 23 journalists, await release.
3 October - Cuba
US finally issues visas to Prensa Latina’s two UN correspondents

in the annual report
Cuba - Annual Report 2008
Cuba - Annual report 2007
Cuba - Annual report 2006

14 March 2008 - Cuba
No surrender by independent journalists, five years on from “black spring”
5 June 2007 - Venezuela
Closure of Radio Caracas Televisión consolidates media hegemony
22 May 2007 - Colombia
Paramilitary "black eagles" poised to swoop down on press

Americas press releases
3 June - United States
President Obama urged to raise freedom of expression in his Cairo speech
29 May - Venezuela
Open letter to President Hugo Chavez to protest about official hounding of Globovisión
27 May - Mexico
Crime reporter abducted and killed in Durango state
15 May - Colombia
Former intelligence officials leak list of news media and journalists whose phones were tapped
14 May - United States
Arraignment of suspected mastermind of Chauncey Bailey’s murder postponed again

Americas archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Sign the petitions
Miguel Galván Gutiérrez
Fabio Prieto Llorente
United States
Chauncey Bailey
A petition to Raúl Castro