Provincial journalist detained and expelled from Havana
CUBA: Provincial journalist detained and expelled from Havana
New York, April 11, 2008—The Committee to Protect Journalists is
concerned by the detention and deportation from Havana of Camagüey-based
independent journalist Ernesto Corría Cabrera this week.
Corría Cabrera, a reporter for the Miami-based press agency Nueva Prensa
Cubana, told CPJ that he traveled from his home in the eastern city of
Camagüey to Havana on Saturday to print the news bulletin El Camagueyano
Libre (The Free Camagueyan) at the computer facilities of the United
States Interest Section, part of the Swiss Embassy in the Cuban capital.
On Tuesday afternoon, after leaving the U.S. diplomatic premises, a
police officer stopped the journalist outside the home of Leonardo
Bruzón Ávila, president of the opposition movement Movimiento 24 de
Febrero. Corría Cabrera was on his way to meet Bruzón Ávila.
"We condemn the detention and expulsion of Ernesto Corría Cabrera. It is
nothing more than a means of stopping him from working in his own
capital city as a journalist," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon.
"Cuban authorities must allow all journalists to move freely through the
After reviewing Corría Cabrera's I.D. card, the officer informed him
that he was being detained for violating a decree that requires Cuban
citizens who reside outside Havana to request a special permit to remain
in the capital for more than 24 hours, the journalist told CPJ.
Independent journalist Oscar Espinosa Chepe told CPJ this decree is
often used to deport independent journalists and dissidents from Havana.
Corría Cabrera said he was immediately taken to a Havana police station,
where a State Security agent interrogated him. The agent told the
journalist that authorities knew who he was and what he was doing in the
capital. He added that Corría Cabrera would not be allowed to practice
independent journalism in Havana, the journalist told CPJ.
At 2 p.m. on Thursday, Havana police escorted Corría Cabrera to a train
station, where he was forced to board a train to Camagüey. According to
the journalist, local police in Camagüey told him he would have to
report back to them tonight at 8 p.m. before being released.
Corría Cabrera told CPJ that over the last three years he has been
detained on several occasions. State Security agents have told him
repeatedly that if he does not stop working as an independent
journalist, he will face criminal charges under Cuban Law 88 for the
Protection of Cuba's National Independence and Economy.
Twenty-two journalists are currently in prison in Cuba, the world's
second-leading jailer of journalists, after China. Twenty have been in
prison since a massive crackdown against the independent press in 2003.