14ymedio, Havana, 8 December 2021 — The independent journalist Mabel Páez was attacked on Tuesday night by two unknown men who entered her home at 8:30 pm, shortly after her 19-year-old son left the building. Páez, director of the community media outlet of the Cuban Institute for Freedom of Expression and Press (Iclep), El Majadero* de Artemisa, said that the subjects entered the front door of her house and began to beat her without a word.
“I came to realize when they were already on top of me, with caps on, I couldn’t identify them. I have a split eyebrow, a split lip inside, other blows to the face, a big one on a rib,” she told this daily by phone.
“They didn’t take anything from the house, they hardly spoke. When they finished beating me, the only thing they told me was that this was the first warning they were giving me. After that I felt a motorcycle was leaving,” she added.
The reporter explains that when she arrived at the hospital there was a policeman who entered the consultation room with her and recalls that at no time did he ask her what was wrong. “He just waited for the doctor to finish treating me and when he wrote out the injury certificate he took it from his hand. I told him I needed to take photos of that document and he said no, he knew why I wanted that photo and he took it.”
Outside of the consultation room, Páez was able to see the police deliver the certificate to “another man who was dressed in civilian clothes.” According to her testimony, the subject told her that the best thing she could do, “for the good of all,” was to go home to rest.
The reporter holds the Cuban political police responsible for the violence of which she was a victim and for anything that may happen to her and her son in the future.
“I have no enemies. I cannot think of anything other than that those who entered my house and beat me are from State Security or are people sent by them,” said Páez in statements to Iclep.
Despite the pain in her ribs, she explains that at the hospital they could not do X-rays to rule out a fracture because they did not have the required material to do X-rays and they injected her with an analgesic to relieve the pain.
The beating of the journalist occurred just two days after police forces showed up at her home in search of Iclep’s executive director, Alberto Corzo. Two members of the State Security showed up this Sunday at Páez’s house without a court order and entered by force explaining that Corzo was there, something that, she says, was totally false.
On that occasion, Páez denounced that the agents pushed her and that they stood guard on her all day to prevent her and her son from going out into the street.
Between November 13 and 16, as a result of the call for the Civic March for Change that Archipíelago convened for the 15th, she also had a police cordon at her home to prevent her from going out to practice her profession as a reporter.
The Cuban Institute for Freedom of Expression and Press condemned the island’s regime “for the systematic abuses against independent journalists” and demanded justice “for all communicators who are currently languishing in Cuban prisons, as well as for those who are under a precautionary measure of house arrest.”
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