14ymedio, Miami, 21 February 2017 — The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned the arrest in Cuba of Henry Constantin Ferreiro, director of the magazine Hour of Cuba and regional vice president of its Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information and called for his release, stressing the urgency of including guarantees for freedom of expression and of the press within the framework of the policy of rapprochement of the United States with the Cuban government.
The president of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press, Roberto Rock, demanded the immediate release of Constantin. “We also demand respect for journalistic work and the exercise of freedom of expression in Cuba,” added Rock, director of La Silla Rota de México. “The dictatorial measures of the Cuban Government have not changed a bit, continue to harass and disrespect freedom of expression,” he said.
Constantín, who was named vice president of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, was arrested last night at the airport in the province of Camagüey with Sol García Basulto, correspondent of the 14ymedio portal. The journalists were preparing to take a flight to Havana to cover the first installment of the “Oswaldo Payá Award: Freedom and Life” in honor of the late political opponent, granted to the Executive Secretary of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro.
According to media reports, Garcia Basulto reported via telephone that she was taken to the third Montecarlo Police Station, where she remained until she was released shortly before dawn, while Constantin is still in detention. His family said that “the police had set up an operation around the house, but he had already left for the airport.”
Rock concluded that “Cuba’s opening to the world will be possible when the human rights of all Cubans are guaranteed freedom of expression and of the press, and as long as this does not happen, we will continue to denounce it aloud.”
The IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is composed of more than 1,300 publications from the Western Hemisphere, and is based in Miami, United States.