14ymedio, Havana, 18 May 2022 — The Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) has been forceful in criticizing the Cuban Penal Code approved last Sunday in an extraordinary session, and has insisted that it returns the Island to “dark ages, when officials distanced themselves from the people through abuses and privileges.”
In a statement made public this Wednesday, the IAPA regrets that the new legislation “criminalizes the freedoms of the press and expression, as well as the freedoms of association and assembly” and has described the rule as retrograde.
“The Code has elements akin to military accouterments, which the regime will be able to use to attack and undermine information and independent opinions of dissidents. Citizens will not even be able to use social media or call their friends to protest freely,” the IAPA statement says.
Regarding the updated crime of contempt, the president of the IAPA, Jorge Canahuati, regrets that “Cuban authorities travel to the past, against the developed world, to obscurantist times, when officials distanced themselves from the people through abuses and privileges.”
The organization’s statement also includes the opinion of Carlos Jornet, president of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, who affirms that Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela “Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela are among the few countries to contravene the American Convention on Human Rights precepts by criminalizing foreign economic assistance to human rights groups and independent media.”
“We already have the experience on how these provisions, under the excuse of the defense of sovereignty, are used to muzzle the independent press and silence dissident voices,” asserts Jornet.
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