14ymedio, Havana, 1 October 2021 — Independent journalist Henry Constantín Ferreiro, editor of the magazine La Hora de Cuba, has won the 2021 Press Freedom Award, granted by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA). Along with the Cuban, the Nicaraguan Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro, manager of the newspaper La Prensa, persecuted by Daniel Ortega’s regime, was also a winner.
The IAPA said in a press release on Friday that the award winners have had to live through “one of the darkest periods” this year and have also been harassed and imprisoned in their respective countries.
The organization noted that Constantín was imprisoned and held incommunicado for ten days after being detained during the July 11 protests against the government on the Island. Along with the Camagüey journalist, two other collaborators of La Hora de Cuba remained under house arrest until August 23.
“Holmann Chamorro and Constantín Ferreiro represent the struggle and determination of independent journalism to keep the population informed, despite the strong reprisals adopted by the totalitarian regimes of Nicaragua and Cuba against critical voices and freedom of the press,” said Jorge Canahuati, IAPA president.
Both are also vice presidents of this same organization in their respective countries, which is why Carlos Jornet, head of Argentina’s Commission on Freedom of the Press and Information, insisted that they will not cease “to raise their voices and denounce the atrocities against them and the dozens of journalists who are persecuted, imprisoned and forced into exile.”
The statement notes that the IAPA conducted two investigations, both in Cuba and Nicaragua, and was able to determine that in these countries “journalists have faced similar repressive practices, including arbitrary detentions and interrogations; threats, surveillance and monitoring; restriction of movement and impediments to leave the country; hacking, control and impersonation in social networks; stigmatization, pressure on family members, news sources and advertisers.”
Regarding the investigation on the Island, it was noted that the regime of Miguel Díaz-Canel “detained 11 independent journalists, and that human rights activists and artists suffered the same fate” and their relatives have also been harassed. Among them are mentioned the cases of Esteban Rodríguez, in prison since April 30, and Lázaro Yuri Valle Roca, imprisoned two months later.
The winners of the Press Freedom Award will be honored at a virtual ceremony between the 19th and 22nd of this month, where the chosen winners of the Excellence in Journalism Award 2021 are also invited.
Translated by: Hombre de Paz
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