Cuban journalist arrested for his investigative reporting
The Paris-based press freedom watchdog, Reporters Without Borders (RSF),
is concerned that the detention of Cuban reporter Calixto Ramón Martínez
Arias is a return to darker days.
Martínez, who works for the independent Hablemos Press agency, was
arrested on 16 September on a charge of insulting the president, which
carries a three-year prison sentence. But RSF says:
"It is hard to see how the investigation into a spoiled consignment
of medicines that Martínez was carrying out at the time of his arrest,
or his earlier revelations about cholera and dengue, which the
authorities confirmed, could result in a charge of insulting the president.
This charge is totally absurd… Information of public interest
should be disseminated, discussed and debated… We call for Martínez's
The editor of Hablemos Press, Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez, tried
without success on 21 September to obtain permission to visit Martínez.
He is the third Hablemos journalist to be detained this month.
Two Cuban journalists have recently defected. Mairelys Cuevas Gómez, an
editor with the communist party newspaper Granma, took advantage of a
working visit to Mexico to go the US border and request asylum.
And Luis López Viera, sports editor of Juventud Rebelde, another
official newspaper, requested asylum in Britain during the London Olympics.
Source: Reporters Without Borders