Police Harass Journalist José Luis Tan Estrada a Few Days Before the Anniversary of July 11

The reporter was threatened with charges of disobedience and contempt if he publishes content about the protests on social networks

The reporter is prohibited from attending public places under the threat of going to prison for disobedience and contempt.  / José Raúl Gallego/X

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 6 July 2024 — State Security released journalist José Luis Tan Estrada this Friday after a brief interrogation where they warned him that on July 11, when three years of the 11J protests are commemorated, he must refrain from making any publication on his social networks. The reporter is also prohibited from attending public places under the threat of being imprisoned for disobedience and contempt.

The CubaNet collaborator reported on his Facebook page that on Friday afternoon, while connecting to the internet in the Agramonte park in the city of Camagüey, he was approached by a political police officer who arbitrarily arrested him. Tan Estrada was transferred in a patrol car to the Third Unit of Monte Carlos of the National Revolutionary Police, where he was intimidated.

In his publication he said that a repressor, whom he identified as Laura, stopped him while he was connecting to the internet. After approaching him in the park, she took his cell phone and immobilized his hand, warning him that if he shouted he would go to jail. After remaining in that position for a few minutes, a patrol car approached and he was arrested. Once they reached the Police unit, an interrogation began, joined by another agent, identified as Marcelo.

“They gave me a letter of warning, which I did not sign, and, in addition, they said that if I did not comply with it, I would be prosecuted for disobedience and contempt”

“They gave me a letter of warning, which I did not sign and, in addition, they said that if I did not comply with it, I would be prosecuted for disobedience and contempt. I told them, and I say it here again, that I will continue doing independent journalism and will not turn my face to injustices,” he said a few hours after being released.

“The main objective was to threaten me and warn me that on July 11, I cannot be in public places, or in parks, post anything or take any action to incite people, because I, according to the repressors, am a negative leader in the province, and it was better for me to stay at home,” he said. He also thanked journalist José Raúl Gallego, a resident of Mexico, because they were having a conversation at the moment they took his cell phone away, so it was possible to give news of his arrest to his family and friends.

The journalist has been harassed by the political police in recent years. In April, he was arrested in Havana and later released, after spending five days at the headquarters of State Security, Villa Marista. During that time the agents urged him to leave the country, and, according to his account of the facts, he was the victim of psychological torture: “They can do anything in there. One, who I think was a captain, told me, ’you’re going to rot here, worm’,” Tan Estrada revealed after being released.

This Friday, after Tan Estrada left the police unit, the Cuban Institute for Freedom of Expression and Press (ICLEP) condemned his arrest, which it described as “a new attempt at silence and repression among voices critical of the Cuban regime.” The organization also demanded respect for the diversity and freedom of expression because, it said in a statement on its networks, “thinking and giving a different opinion are not crimes.”

Translated by Regina Anavy


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.