New York, July 23, 2010—Reporter José Ubaldo Izquierdo Hernández was released from a Cuban jail and arrived today in Madrid, becoming the 11th independent journalist to be freed by the Havana government this month.
“My colleagues and I warmly hugged each other upon arrival, sharing
our happiness for regaining freedom and our sorrow for leaving
Izquierdo Hernández, who was serving a 16-year prison term imposed
in 2003, landed with his family around 1:30 p.m. local time on an
After talks with Cuba’s Catholic Church, the government of President Raúl Castro agreed this month to free a total of 52 dissidents arrested in the March 2003 government crackdown on political dissent and independent journalism known as the Black Spring. Nine journalists arrested during the 2003 crackdown remain in prison, as does one other who was jailed later, according to CPJ research.
The government has not disclosed its plans to release the other jailed journalists and dissidents.
Below is a CPJ capsule report on Izquierdo Hernández from CPJ’s annual census of jailed journalists, conducted in December 2009.
José Ubaldo Izquierdo Hernández, Grupo de Trabajo Decoro
Imprisoned: March 19, 2003
Izquierdo Hernández, a reporter in
western Havana for the independent news agency Grupo de Trabajo Decoro, was
sentenced in April 2003 to 16 years in prison for acting “against the
independence or the territorial integrity of the state” under Article 91 of the
penal code. Following an appeal the next month, the People’s
Izquierdo Hernández was diagnosed
with severe depression, digestive ailments, circulatory problems, emphysema,
and asthma, according to