[Cuba] Concerns for three Cuban writers

English PEN joins the Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International in protesting a renewed wave of repression and harassment against journalists and writers in Cuba, including the imprisonment of two journalists and the conviction of a writer.

According to PEN’s information, independent journalist Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias has been detained pending trial since September 2012 on charges of “disrespect” against the head of state, while state journalist José Antonio Torres is reportedly serving a 14-year sentence for espionage; both were jailed after reporting on sensitive subjects. Meanwhile, writer and blogger Ángel Santiesteban Prats has been sentenced to five years in prison for alleged trespassing and assault on the basis of an apparently flawed trial. We are calling for Martínez Arias’ immediate and unconditional release. We are also urging the Cuban authorities to provide assurances that Torres’ and Santiesteban’s sentences are not related to their reporting, and to make public details of their trials.

For more details on these cases, please visit the PEN International website

TAKE ACTION

Please send appeals:

  • Protesting the imprisonment of Hablemos Press journalist Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias in violation of his right to freedom of expression, as guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Cuba signed in 2008;
  • Calling for Martínez Arias to be released immediately and unconditionally;
  • Expressing concern that the trials of former Granma correspondent José Antonio Torres and writer and blogger Ángel Santiesteban Prats apparently failed to meet international human rights standards for fair trials, outlined in Article 14 of the ICCPR;
  • Calling on the Cuban authorities to provide assurances that Torres’ and Santiesteban’s sentences are not related to their reporting, and to make public the details of their trials.

Appeals to:

Head of State and Government
Raúl Castro Ruz
Presidente de la República de Cuba
La Habana, Cuba
Fax: +41 22 758 9431 (Cuba office in Geneva);
+1 212 779 1697 (via Cuban Mission to UN)
Email: cuba@un.int (c/o Cuban Mission to UN)
Salutation: Your Excellency
 
Attorney General
Dr. Darío Delgado Cura
Fiscal General de la República
Fiscalía General de la República
Amistad 552, e/Monte y Estrella, Centro Habana, La Habana, Cuba
Salutation: Dear Attorney General
 
Interior Minister
General Abelardo Coloma Ibarra
Ministro del Interior y Prisiones
Ministerio del Interior, Plaza de la Revolución, La Habana, Cuba
Fax: +1 212 779 1697 (via Cuban Mission to UN)
Email: correominint@mn.mn.co.cu
Salutation: Your Excellency
Please send also appeals to diplomatic representatives of Cuba in your country.
 
Her Excellency Mrs Esther G. Armenteros Cárdenas
167 High Holborn
London 
WC1V 6PA
Fax: 0207 836 2602
embacuba@cubaldn.com
Salutation: Your Excellency

Or you could use the form below. A sample letter is provided, but it is always better if you are able to put the appeal in your own words.

[ecampaign ‘to=embacuba@cubaldn.com’ subject=”Concerns for three Cuban writers”]

Your Excellency

I am writing to you as a supporter of English PEN, the founding centre of the international association of writers, to  protest a renewed wave of repression and harassment against journalists and writers in Cuba, including the imprisonment of two journalists and the conviction of a writer.

According to PEN’s information, Hablemos Press journalist Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias has been detained pending trial since September 2012. This detention is in violation of his right to freedom of expression, as guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Cuba signed in 2008. I am therefore calling for Martínez Arias to be released immediately and unconditionally.

I am also concerned that the trials of former Granma correspondent José Antonio Torres and writer and blogger Ángel Santiesteban Prats apparently failed to meet international human rights standards for fair trials, outlined in Article 14 of the ICCPR. I therefore respectfully urge the Cuban authorities to provide assurances that Torres’ and Santiesteban’s sentences are not related to their reporting, and to make public the details of their trials. 

I would welcome your comments on my appeal. 

Yours sincerely 

 [/ecampaign]

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