Legal Process Opens Against '14ymedio' Reporter in Camagüey
14ymedio, Havana, 23 March 2017 – This Wednesday the gates have begun to
close around independent journalist Sol Garcia Basulto, who has been
charged with the crime of "usurpation of legal capacity." (In other
words, "practicing journalism without a license.") The correspondent for
this newspaper in Camaguey is facing a sentence of between three months
and a year of deprivation of liberty.
The accusation against Garcia Basulto coincides with that made against
the regional vice-president of the Inter-American Press Association in
Cuba, Henry Constantin. Both reporters are a part of the editorial team
of the independent magazine La Hora de Cuba (Cuba's Hour), which is
distributed in a digital format.
The young reporter was warned by the police about her work interviewing
and gathering information in public spaces. A task that she engages in,
according to the officials, to "misrepresent information and write
against the government."
If the process takes its course, the journalist could be tried under
Article 149 of the Penal Code which punishes those who "perform
independent acts of a profession for which they are not properly qualified."
The police did not mention the names of the possible complainants, but
warned Garcia Basulto that she was not "empowered" to undertake work as
a reporter. The young woman is being investigated and cannot leave the
country. Any travel outside her home province must be communicated ahead
of time to the police.
Last November, State Security prevented the 14ymedio correspondent from
leaving her house in the days after the death for former president Fidel
Castro, while the funeral procession carried his ashes to Santiago de Cuba.
At that time, the young woman denounced the escalating repression
against her, which started on 4 December 2015 when she tried to take
some photos and collect opinions in front of Camaguey Provincial Court
where the trial was being held for the murder of the musician Pedro
Armando Junco, known as Mandy.
The Inter American Press Association warned this week about García
Basulto possibly being charged with the same crime for which its vice
president is being prosecuted. The entity considers that such
accusations are contrary to international provisions that support "the
right to seek, receive, disseminate information and express opinions."
Source: Legal Process Opens Against '14ymedio' Reporter in Camagüey –
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