14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 18 June 2021 — Writer Jorge Enrique Rodríguez, a journalist for Diario de Cuba and a collaborator of the International Institute of Artivism Hannah Arendt (Instar), was released this Friday after being detained for 24 hours.
The journalist was arrested this Thursday around two in the afternoon outside the Western Army Military Court in Arroyo Naranjo, where the trial was held against six people accused of sexually abusing a child under 13 years of age, which took place in September of last year.
Rodríguez, who had not been heard from in 24 hours, tells 14ymedio that he was taken to the nearby El Capri station. “Members of the family of those involved were outside, and very aggressive,” he says. “All this time, they have said that the fault lies with the girl and her mother because they uploaded the complaint to social networks. When verifying that I was the journalist who was following the case, they got their contacts involved. A patrol car arrived immediately, one of the relatives approached it and the officer apparently called State Security. A few minutes later a female officer arrived, arrested me and took me to the station.”
When he arrived at the station, the journalist continues, he asked the reason for his arrest, and they answered that “it was because he was taking photos,” but Rodríguez denies it: “That is false, it was all a story the family of the accused made up.”
The girl’s mother, Cleida García Díaz, tells this newspaper that she herself has now “received death threats”
The girl’s mother, Cleida García Díaz, whom Cenesex (National Center for Sexual Education) contacted to investigate her case after the complaint she made in independent media, assures this newspaper that right now she has now received “death threats.”
“It was around seven o’clock at night when I left at the end of the trial, and all the relatives of the six accused were outside and they insulted me and told me that they were going to kill me,” he says. “The police officers who were there asked me to get in the car quickly, I did so and we immediately left.”
She also says that her husband had to be taken through the back door of the court, “through the exit where the prosecutors leave,” because the situation at that time “got ugly… Immediately, the whole block was full of patrol cars because the family members became very aggressive,” she points out.
The woman, who lives in the municipality of El Cotorro, in Havana, says that she filed a complaint about the threats, so that the police would be aware of everything and record the facts. “Now I rarely go out because I have a newborn baby, but I told them that I was not going to hide. What happened was very serious, they attacked me when I was leaving the court with my baby in my arms and they threatened me, it was horrible.”.
The woman, who lives in the Havana municipality of El Cotorro, says that she filed a complaint about the threats, so that the police would be aware of everything and record the facts
García specifies that the prosecutor’s office is asking for 21 years and six months for the three defendants who were undergoing military service at the time of the attack against his daughter, and 21 years for the other three, but the final sentence won’t be determined until July 5th.
“I spoke the whole truth in court: that my daughter was threatened and harassed by these men. At the trial they reproached me because I made a complaint to the independent press, but I told them that I did it and that I do not regret it, because at that moment all the doors were closed and no one was giving me any answers. Where was my country at that moment that abandoned me like that?” she cries out.
Translated by Norma Whiting
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