Publicado: Tue, 20 Jun, 2017

Cuban police accuse two journalists of “usurpation of legal capacity” for the practice of independent journalism

This entry is also avaliable in: Spanish

Two journalists from the province of Camagüey, Cuba, Sol García Basulto and Henry Constantín, have been accused by Cuban authorities of committing “usurpation of legal capacity” while practicing journalism in March.

According to Cuban law, both journalists could end up spending from three months to a year in jail for the crime.

According to Camagüey’s Third Police Unit, Constantín has violated Article 149 of the Cuban Penal Code that punishes whomever “performs acts of a profession for the exercise of which he is not properly qualified.”

Article 149 directly contradicts Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

Camaguey Police informed Constantín that Sol García Basulto would also be charged of the same crime.

Constantín and García Basulto are the editor in chief and the deputy editor, respectively, of the independent magazine La Hora de Cuba (Cuba’s Hour).

The accusations seek to stop them from practicing journalism.

Subject to a precautionary measure related to the subpoena, both journalists have been prevented from traveling abroad to participate in events related to journalism.

Constantín was named vice-president for Cuba of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) in January, which seems to have triggered the harassment by the Cuban government against him. IAPA describes itself as “a non-profit organization dedicated to defending freedom of expression and of the press throughout the Americas.”

The Association for Free Press (APLP) asks the Cuban government to stop harassing and attacking Cuban journalists who are merely doing their job of informing Cuban society.

The APLP also asks the solidarity of the international community in spreading word on the systematic abuse on these two journalists, whose human rights are under attack.

The APLP is a non-profit organization devoted to defending freedom of the press in Cuba.

For more information on this case or the current state of freedom of the press in Cuba, please communicate with us using the following numbers:

+53 7609 8400

+53 5473 0611

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