CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Borja Bergareche

Borja Bergareche is a Spanish journalist based in London and a CPJ European correspondent.

Blog   |   Cuba, Spain

Cuban deadline passes for dissident releases: What next?

A woman in Havana holds a sign that reads: "My support will be eternal for freedom and justice" at a weekly march by members of the Cuban dissident group Ladies in White. (AP)

Sunday marked the end of the four-month deadline Cuban President Raúl Castro had agreed to with representatives of the Cuban Catholic Church and the Spanish government to free 52 prisoners of conscience who remained in jail since the March 2003 crackdown against dissidents, known as the "Black Spring." The Spanish foreign minister at the time, Miguel Angel Moratinos, said in Havana on July 8 that the move to release the prisoners "opens a new era in Cuba." But have things changed in the EU regarding Cuba? Not really. Has anything changed on the island? Not really. On Monday, at midnight, 13 of the 52 prisoners remained in jailed. 

Blog   |   Iran

A Golden Pen for Iran's Zaid-Abadi

The World Association of Newspapers on Wednesday honored the jailed Iranian journalist, Ahmad Zaid-Abadi with its Golden Pen of Freedom Award in the German city of Hamburg. Zaid-Abadi, right, was sentenced in 2009 to six years in prison, five years of internal exile, and a lifetime ban on working as a journalist. He is behind bars in Tehran's Evin Prison where, he told Xavier Vidal-Folch, president of World Editor's Forum, "the desperation that jailers create is such that you are convinced it's the end of the world."

Blog   |   Cuba, Spain

In Cuban releases, difficult choices, moral dilemmas

Newly freed Cuban journalists and their families on a bus taking them from Madrid Barajas Airport. (AP/Victor R. Caivano) The Havana government has not explicitly demanded that political prisoners go into exile as a condition of release, but it’s clear that’s what Cuban authorities want. The first journalists and dissidents to be freed from jail were immediately whisked away to Spain, which, along with the Catholic Church, had negotiated for their freedom. That leaves political prisoners with a terrible dilemma: fly to Spain or stay in jail, at least for a while. Thus emerges a moral dimension when assessing news of up to 52 Cuban prisoners, including numerous journalists, being released in the coming weeks. Can a human being live happily in a land he or she never chose? Will they find in Spain, or in some other foreign country, the paradise of freedom they deserve?

July 14, 2010 1:35 PM ET

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