Cuban Political Police Detain Cuban Writer Jorge Fernandez Era for Six Hours

Professor Alina Bárbara López Hernández during her protest in a park in Matanzas. (Screeen capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 6 April 2023 — The Cuban political police arrested journalist and writer Jorge Fernández Era on Thursday in Havana for about six hours, according to family and friends on social networks. After learning of Fernández Era’s arrest, Professor Alina Bárbara López Hernández went out to protest peacefully for his release in a park in Matanzas and was arrested shortly after. Currently her whereabouts are unknown, her daughter Lilian Borroto reported.

“I have just been informed that she was arrested along with my sister Cecilia Borroto López, after a physical assault by State Security. I don’t know their whereabouts and I hold State Security and the PNR (National Revolutionary Police) responsible for their physical integrity,” the young woman said in a message sent to 14ymedio.

For its part, La Joven Cuba, of which Jorge Fernández Era is a collaborator, reported on Facebook that, after several hours “since his arrest and a wave of solidarity on social networks, as well as peaceful demonstrations,” the writer was released.

“La Joven Cuba thanks all those who were aware of Jorge’s situation and who expressed their support. It also rejects the arbitrary detentions of the Cuban authorities and the violation of citizens’ freedoms and rights.”

After learning of the arrest of Fernández Era, Professor José Manuel González Rubines indicated that the arrest happened around 12:30 p.m. for “disobedience” in response to the recent “summons to an interview” from State Security. The intellectual was taken to the Aguilera Police Unit, at Calzada de Luyanó and Porvenir.

Laideliz Herrera Laza, wife of Fernández Era, let González Rubines know that the summons was appealed to the Prosecutor’s Office, but the writer did not receive a response from that body.

Faced with the arrest of the journalist, Alina Bárbara López Hernández wrote a post on Facebook saying that “if he is not immediately released” she would come out in public protest. “If other people join, I won’t be opposed. Stop repressing freedom of expression in Cuba,” she said.

She gave details about her demonstration on Facebook. “I went immediately to Matanzas Freedom Park. I will be there to protest until Jorge is released. I warn you that if they try to stop me I will resist, so bring reinforcements.”

The Cuban Observatory of Cultural Rights denounced the arrest of the writer and journalist while warning that last January he was summoned by State Security and threatened with criminal proceedings against him. His arrest is part of the repression exercised by the Cuban government for his work.

The Cuban Observatory for Human Rights warned about the growing criminal violence against Cuban artists and will continue to follow closely the current repression against Fernández Era.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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