Sunday, November 13, 2016

Harassment of Pinar del Río Journalists Continues

Harassment of Pinar del Río Journalists Continues / 14ymedio, Ricardo

14ymedio, Ricardo Fernandez, Pinar del Rio, 11 November 2016 — A new
wave of repression erupted on 9 November against journalists and
contributors to the fortnightly newsletter Pinareño Panorama. This
media, belonging to the Cuban Institute for Freedom of Expression and
the Press (ICLEP) has been heavily repressed in the last six months even
though its content is purely social and does not explicitly address
political issues. In addition to publication on the webpage, the newsletter has a monthly circulation of more than 500
copies distributed among the population.

The trigger for the actions undertaken by Cuban State Security forces
was the distribution of the newsletter that took place outside the
interprovincial bus terminal. The new director of Pinareño Panorama,
Lazaro Luis Ruiz Echevarria, and the contributor Esteban Ajete Bascal,
were violently arrested on Delicias Street, between Colon and Recreo
Streets, at 2:40 pm, by Captain Juan Perez Puentes, Major Orestes Ayala,
Lieutenant Colonel Vuenes, Major Ivan Blanco, and the lieutenant known
as Jorgito.

In the operation, State Security forces confiscated 47 printed copies
of Pinareño Panorama, along with the personal phone of its director. The
activist from Independent and Democratic Cuba (CID) Yaimel Rodriguez
recorded what happened on his cellphone to denounce the violence that
Ruiz Echevarria was subjected to; he was put in a stranglehold and
dragged to a red Lada car where Majory Ayala beat him in the face.

The two detainees were taken along with the CID activist to the
Provincial Unit of the National Revolutionary Police, where, they say,
they were subjected to interrogation and threats. Rodriguez was released
after being forced to delete all the files on his phone while the
director of the publication was imprisoned for 24 hours after being
brought to emergency room at the Abel Santamaria Cuadrado Provincial

The State Security operation also held, for several hours, the former
director of Pinareño Panorama, Dianelis Rodriguez and her husband,
attorney Raul Risco. Two other journalists for the newsletter were
summoned on Thursday and were subjected to interrogations and threats.

Source: Harassment of Pinar del Río Journalists Continues / 14ymedio,
Ricardo Fernandez – Translating Cuba -

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