Doctor and journalist arrested and taken to Havana jail
Published on 24 July 2009
In the same country
17 June 2009 – Dissident photographer held incommunicado, faces jail on
"pre-crime social danger" charge
20 May 2009 – Anyone can browse the Internet… unless they are Cuban
15 May 2009 – Journalist gets three-year jail sentence
Reporters Without Borders voiced concern at the arrest and detention on
21 July of dissident Darsi Ferrer, head of a health and human rights
centre, saying it feared he faced a long period behind bars.
Ferrer, a medical doctor, has been jailed at the Valle Grande prison,
west of the capital, Havana. He is well known for his reports on the
state of the Cuban health system and the plight of political prisoners.
Ferrer, head of the Juan Bruno Zayas centre, was officially arrested for
attempting to illegally acquire building materials for his house in
Havana which is in a poor state of repair. He and his wife, Yusnaymi
Jorge Soca, were prevented from leaving their home for 12 hours on 9
July the day they planned a peaceful march in the capital dubbed "The
journey of a lifetime". Several activists were arrested a few hours
before the start of the demonstration.
"The completely absurd reasons given for his Ferrer's arrest will
obviously not fool anyone. It is a new ploy to silence a dissident voice
and a particularly important one," the worldwide press freedom
organisation said. "There are worrying signs, that against a background
of a fresh crackdown, his transfer to jail could mean the start of a
prolonged period of imprisonment", the organisation added.
An upsurge in short-term detentions and summonses by State Security has
become the chief method of cracking down on dissidents, since the July
2006 handover of power by Fidel Castro to his brother, Raúl.
Independent journalist Ileana Pérez Nápoles was held by the political
police in Las Tunas, eastern Cuba on 11 July at a march in tribute to
victims of reprisals in an operation by the coast guard. Agents of the
National Revolutionary Police (PNR) took independent journalist David
Águila Montero to the internal security department on 15 July. During
questioning they seized his USB memory stick and copies of the US daily
Nuevo Herald and The Dissident Review.
With 24 journalists in jail, including Reporters Without Borders'
correspondent Ricardo González Alfonso, founder of De Cuba magazine,
Cuba is the world's third biggest prison for the profession, after Iran
Reporters Sans Frontières (24 July 2009)