18 September 1997


Renewed harassment of journalists

Incident details

Omar Rodriguez Saludes, Odalys Curbelo Sanchez, Bernardo Arevalo Padron, Ricardo Gonzalez Alfonso, Efren Martinez Pulgaron



RSF/IFEX) - On 8 September 1997, Omar Rodriguez Saludes of the New Press
news agency (ANP) was arrested by a State Security officer who, after
threatening Rodriguez, confiscated his camera and several documents.
Rodriguez had been covering a religious festival. The same day, Odalys
Curbelo Sanchez, correspondent for the news agency Cuba Press in Pinar del
Rio, was summoned to appear at the State Security office in that city. On 5
September, Bernardo Arevalo Padron, director of the news agency Linea Azul
Press, was detained for five hours at police headquarters in Aguada de
Pasajeros, in the province of Cienfuegos. He was released without having
been questioned. The same day, Ricardo Gonzalez Alfonso, a journalist with
Cuba Press, was summoned to police headquarters in Havana. No police officer
interrogated the journalist.

On 13 August, Efren Martinez Pulgaron, of Cuba Press, was arrested by State
Security agents in San Luis, near Pinar Del Rio. He was then detained in the
State Security office in Pinar del Rio. On 27 August, authorities told his
mother that he could be incarcerated for up to six months without there
being any charge brought against him. On 3 September, a police officer told
his mother that her son's release would depend on Cuba Press handing over a
dictaphone. During the arrest of Martinez, officers had already seized a
tape recorder. He shares a small cell with three other prisoners. Martinez
had previously been arrested in November 1996.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • expressing concern over these attacks on press freedom
  • calling on them to put an end to the harassment of journalistsin Cuba

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Fidel Castro
    Havana, Cuba

    Dr Juan Escalona Reguera
    State Prosecutor
    San Rafael 3, La Habana, Cuba
    Fax: +53 7 333164

    Roberto Robaina Gonzalez
    Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Ministry of Foreign AffairsC
    alzada No. 360
    Vedado, La Habana, Cuba
    Fax: + 53 7 333085 / 335261

    General Abelardo Colome Ibarra
    Minister of the Interior
    Ministry of the Interior
    Plaza de la Revolucion
    Havana, Cuba

    c/o the Cuban Mission at the United Nations
    New York NY 10016, United States
    Fax: +1 212 779 1697

    or c/o the Cuban diplomatic representative in your country

    (in the United States)
    Cuban Interest Section
    Washington DC, United States
    Fax: +1 202 797 8521

    (in Canada)
    Embassy of the Republic of Cuba
    388 Main StreetOttawa, Ontario
    K1S 1E3, Canada
    Fax: +1 613 563 0068

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    Reporters Without Borders
    47, rue Vivienne
    75002 Paris, France
    rsf (@) rsf.org

    Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51
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