Briefing Document – Free Expression in Cuba

*** UPDATE – JULY 2010: English PEN is delighted at the news that six Cuban independent journalists imprisoned since March 2003 have finally been released. Julio César Gálvez Rodríguez, José Luis García Paneque, Léster Luis González Pentón, Ricardo Severino González Alfonso, Pablo Pacheco Ávila and Omar Moisés Ruíz Hernández were freed late on 12 July 2010 and arrived in Madrid, Spain, with their families on the afternoon of 13 July. Their release follows talks between the Cuban government, the Catholic Church and the Spanish foreign minister, during which Cuba reportedly pledged to release 52 dissidents jailed in 2003 over the coming months. English PEN applauds this long-awaited development, but is concerned that the prisoners are apparently obliged to leave Cuba as a precondition of their release. It continues to call for the immediate and unconditional release of the 19 other writers, journalists and librarians still in prison for their writings. For more information, please click here. ***
On 17th March 2010, English PEN launched a briefing document outlining the Free Expression issues in Cuba.  The document discusses the cases of writers and campaigners imprisoned under Article 91 and Law 88, and also takes a strong line condemning the US embargo of the island.  We also discuss the difference between censorship in journalism and self-censorship in the Arts, and make positive suggestions for what visitors to Cuba can do to help promote free speech.

The PDF is available to download here.

Related Articles:

‘Cuba’s world in eclipse’ by John Keenan (20 May 2010)

‘Cuban prisoners ‘win’ concessions after Church talks’
BBC News (23 May 2010)

‘Cuba moves to come in from the cold’ by Michael Voss
BBC News (7 July 2010)

‘EU ‘should respond’ to Cuba move to release prisoners’
BBC News (8 July 2010)

‘Cuba dissident Guillermo Farinas ends hunger strike’
BBC News (9 July 2010)

‘Cuba not opening up to democracy’ – released prisoners
BBC News (15 July 2010)

‘Spain calls for ‘understanding’ from released Cuban political prisoners’
MercoPress (19 July 2010)

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