Pro Free Press Association Condemns Arrest of Two Independent Journalists in Cuba

Cuban journalists Rudy Cabrera and Augusto César San Martín (Cubanet)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 21 May 2018 — The Pro Free Press Association (APLP) condemned, on Sunday, the arrest of two independent journalists when they tried to cover the crash of the Boeing 737 leased by the Cuban airline Cubana de Aviacion, which killed 110 people.

Augusto César San Martín and Rudy Cabrera, reporters for the digital site Cubanet, “were trying to obtain information about the plane crash” on Friday, when they were arrested and taken to the Santiago de las Vegas police station in the Rancho Boyeros district, APLP said in a statement.

The journalists were “kept in jail until Saturday at around 8:30 at night and their mobile phones, a camera and other tools of their profession were confiscated.”

Both San Martin and Cabrera were fined 100 Cuban pesos for the alleged crime of “transgressing security limits,” said the APLP, which invoked the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that no one may be arbitrarily detained and that everyone has the right to investigate and receive information.

The independent organization “asks for the solidarity of all the organizations in the world that defend freedom of expression for independent Cuban journalists.”

The Island’s independent journalists suffer continuous arbitrary arrests, confiscations of personal belongings, raids on their homes and judicial charges, to which is also added, more and more frequently, a prohibition on travel under any pretext.

Last April the organization Reporters Without Borders placed Cuba 173rd out of 180 nations in terms of press freedom. The country was the worst rated on the continent.

The Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) also denounced in its most recent report, presented in Colombia last April, that the Cuban government seeks to have “a mute, deaf, and blind country” in terms of communication, journalism, and the Internet.

It is “an increasingly difficult goal,” the IAPA said, for “the perseverance of journalists and independent media that do not cease their work despite restrictions.”


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