The Government Unleashed a Crackdown on Journalists After Hurricane Matthew
14ymedio, Havana, 10 May 2017 –The independent Cuban press has been
especially harassed after the passage of Hurricane Matthew in the
eastern part of the country. Several reporters were arrested while
trying to cover the situation of the victims, reports the Association
for Freedom of the Press (APLP) in its latest report.
"The population of Baracoa became the epicenter of attacks against the
press," says the report, which highlights among the most affected
journalists Diario de Cuba, El Estornudo and Journalism de Barrio.
The APLP's Commission of Attention to Journalists and their Families
documented 213 cases of the violation of human and professional rights
against journalists during 2016. The report shows a peak of 43 attacks
against reporters during the month of March, during President Barack
Obama's visit to the Island.
Attacks against the press included "arbitrary arrest, harassment, theft
from their homes, threats of all kinds (including death), attempted
blackmail, prison sentences, defamation, humiliation and confiscation of
the tools of their profession," it continues.
Despite this scenario, the independent organization details that "small
groups of journalists have created independent media" that "operate
under the risks" which include breaking the law. It believes that 2016
was a year "significant for the Cuban press" despite "the constant
blockages of web pages" carried out by the government.
As an example of this negative climate, the report points to pressures
on the journal Coexistence, which reached their peak in January 2017
with the arrest of economist Karina Gálvez, accused of tax evasion. The
publisher "has not been able to return to her home by court order" and
"insists that the crime has been fabricated."
The APLP recommends that journalists be "committed to the ethics that
define the international standards of journalism." The "dissemination of
their work among the inhabitants of the national territory" is also
among the suggestions that appear in the report.
APLP's report was published a few weeks after Freedom House placed
Cuba among the ten worst countries in the world for freedom of the
press, as detailed in its annual report.
Source: The Government Unleashed a Crackdown on Journalists After
Hurricane Matthew – Translating Cuba -