Alerts   |   Cuba

Cuba frees 17th journalist jailed in Black Spring

New York, October 12, 2010--Cuban journalist Alfredo Felipe Fuentes, left, was freed from prison on Friday and exiled to Spain as part of a July agreement between the Havana government and the Catholic Church. Seventeen journalists jailed in the 2003 Black Spring crackdown have now been freed and exiled as part of the agreement. "I feel as if I was born again, trying to get used to cell phones, personal computers and emails, all things that were barely known in Cuba before I was jailed," Fuentes told CPJ in a telephone interview.

October 12, 2010 2:46 PM ET


Alerts   |   Cuba

Cuban journalist released, exiled; 16 now free

New York, September 27, 2010--Imprisoned Cuban journalist Miguel Galván Gutierrez was released from jail and flown to Madrid on Saturday as part of a July agreement between the Havana government and the Catholic Church. Sixteen journalists jailed in the 2003 Black Spring crackdown have now been freed and exiled as part of the agreement.

September 27, 2010 2:51 PM ET


Alerts   |   Cuba, Spain

2 Cuban reporters freed, arrive in Madrid; 13 now released

A well-wisher hugs freed Cuban journalist Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta upon his arrival at a hotel in Madrid today. (AP/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)New York, August 19, 2010--Formerly imprisoned Cuban journalists Fabio Prieto Llorente and Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta arrived in Spain today, bringing to 13 the number of imprisoned reporters who were freed this year as part of an agreement between the Cuban Catholic Church and the government of President Raúl Castro.

Alerts   |   Cuba

Tenth freed Cuban reporter lands in Madrid


New York, July 22, 2010—Cuban journalist Alfredo Pulido López was released from jail and landed today in Madrid, bringing to 10 the number of imprisoned reporters freed and sent to Spain as part of an agreement between the Catholic Church and the Cuban government.

“I am extremely happy to regain my freedom, but I also feel sad for leaving my country,” Pulido López, left, told CPJ in a telephone interview. “I am committed to work on behalf of a transition to a more open society in Cuba. After seven years in prison, I sadly find that my country is still deprived of many fundamental rights.”

July 22, 2010 3:59 PM ET


Alerts   |   Cuba

Ninth released Cuban journalist arrives in Spain

Bárzaga Lugo (EPA)

New York, July 15, 2010—Imprisoned Cuban journalist Mijail Bárzaga Lugo was released from jail and flown today to Madrid, where he joined a group of eight of his colleagues freed and brought to Spain this week as part of an extensive release by the Cuban government, according to international press reports.

Bárzaga Lugo, who was arrested in March 2003, arrived in Madrid with his family on an Air Europe flight around 2 p.m. local time, Agence France-Presse reported. On arrival, the journalist was taken to a hotel in Madrid’s neighborhood of Vallecas, where he joined six colleagues released and sent to Spain on Tuesday, and another two who were freed and exiled on Wednesday, the press reports said.

July 15, 2010 4:38 PM ET


Alerts   |   Cuba

Newly freed, 6 Cuban journalists arrive in Spain

Newly freed political prisoners at a press conference in Madrid. (AP/Emilio Morenatti)

New York, July 13, 2010—Six Cuban journalists who spent more than seven years in prison for their independent reporting and commentary arrived in Spain today in the first wave of what is expected to be an extensive release of political prisoners by the Cuban government.

Alerts   |   Cuba

Jailed Cuban journalists to be flown to Spain, reports say

The Ladies in White, wives and mothers of Cuban political prisoners, kneel outside a Havana church on Sunday. (AP/Javier Galeano)

New York, July 12, 2010—Imprisoned Cuban journalists are expected to be among a group of political prisoners to be released tonight and put on a flight to Spain, where they are due to arrive on Tuesday morning, according to international press reports and CPJ interviews. The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes news of their scheduled release and urged Cuban authorities today to free all journalists who remain in jail.

Alerts   |   Cuba

Three journalists among first to be released in Cuba

New York, July 8, 2010—José Luis García PanequePablo Pacheco Ávila, and Lester Luis González Pentón, independent Cuban journalists imprisoned during the 2003 crackdown against the political opposition and the press, are among the five dissidents to be released soon and sent to Spain as part of an agreement between the government of President Raúl Castro and the Catholic Church, international press reports said today.

Alerts   |   Cuba

Church says Cuba will release political prisoners

Laura Pollán Toledo, wife of jailed journalist Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez. (AP/Franklin Reyes)

New York, July 7, 2010—The Catholic Church in Cuba said today that the government of President Raúl Castro has agreed to release dozens of political prisoners over the next several weeks, raising hopes that numerous imprisoned journalists could be freed. 

“If imprisoned journalists are freed, as suggested by the church’s announcement, it cannot come a moment too soon. These journalists and their families have experienced the anguish of unjustified imprisonment and cruel treatment,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s senior program coordinator for the Americas. “We call on President Castro to release all jailed journalists and to allow freedom of expression for all Cuban citizens.”

Case   |   Cuba

Oscar Sánchez Madan freed from jail in Cuba

In early 2007, freelancer Oscar Sánchez Madan was detained twice and warned to stop working for the independent press after he covered a local corruption scandal and social problems in western Matanzas province, where he lived. He was arrested in April 2007 and, after a one-day trial, Cuban authorities convicted him of “social dangerousness,” a vague charge contained in Article 72 of the penal code. The reporter was handed the maximum prison sentence of four years; in June 2007, a local tribunal lowered the sentence to three years.
April 13, 2010 5:35 PM ET


Letters   |   Cuba, Spain

CPJ urges EU leader to seek freedom for Cuban journalists

Dear President Rodríguez Zapatero: On the seventh anniversary of the Cuban government’s massive crackdown on dissidents and the independent press, the Committee to Protect Journalists calls on you as leader of the European Union to take the forefront in defending human rights by urging President Raúl Castro to immediately release 22 journalists now jailed in Cuba.

March 18, 2010 9:55 AM ET


Alerts   |   Cuba

CPJ holds Cuba responsible for welfare of jailed journalists

Fariñas on his most recent hunger strike. (EPA)

New York, March 4, 2010—A week after the death of jailed Cuban dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a journalist on a hunger strike is seriously ill while health conditions of imprisoned reporters remain dire. As the seventh anniversary of the massive crackdown on dissidents approaches on March 18, the Committee to Protect Journalists renews its call for the Cuban government to immediately and unconditionally release all jailed journalists.

Attacks on the Press   |   Cuba

Attacks on the Press 2009: Cuba

Top Developments
• Vibrant blogging culture emerges despite severe Internet restrictions.
• Jailed journalists suffer amid inhumane conditions.

Key Statistic
22: Reporters and editors in jail as of December 1.

Cuba was hit hard by the global economic crisis and endured an upheaval in its highest offices, but state-controlled news media delivered superficial and skewed coverage. Human rights conditions, including press freedom, remained at a standstill: Independent journalists faced ongoing harassment, and more than 20 reporters and editors remained in jail. But offering a flicker of hope for freedom of expression on the island, a growing community of independent bloggers maneuvered around legal, economic, and technological limitations to describe everyday experiences and express opinions that challenged the regime’s perspective.

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