Prieto Llorente, 45, at left, has been actively protesting prison
conditions for several weeks. In a January 7 letter to Raúl Castro Ruz, which
was reviewed by CPJ, Prieto Llorente strongly criticized the Cuban president's December
proposal to exchange jailed political dissidents for five Cuban citizens
imprisoned in the
The reporter acknowledges that the outspoken criticism probably makes matters worse for him in prison. He seems undaunted. Referring to the start of career as an independent reporter, Prieto Llorente wrote in the letter, "For over 10 years, my family and I have survived an inhumane persecution, aggravated by my arrest, and all this because I decided to not to keep quiet about the excesses of this dictatorship."
Prieto Llorente has continued to report from prison. Two
articles with his byline appeared today on the
The reporter's sister, Clara Lourdes Prieto Llorente tried to contact El Guayabo Prison authorities today, but was unable to get through, said Laura Pollán, a human rights activist and the wife of imprisoned independent journalist Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez.
Manfred Nowak, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture and
other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, said last week that
he was planning to visit
Prieto Llorente, a freelancer, was arrested in March 2003
during a massive crackdown on Cuban dissidents and independent journalists. Most
of the 29 reporters and editors jailed almost six years ago remain behind bars.