Cuba Must Release Opposition Blogger Immediately

Press Release
October 5, 2012

Cuba Must Release Opposition Blogger Immediately

Human Rights Organization Says Yoani Sanchez Arrest Came Ahead of Controversial Trial

Contact: Sharon Singh, ssingh@aiusa.org, 202-675-8579

(Washington, DC) - A prominent Cuban opposition blogger, due to cover the opening trial of Spanish politician Ángel Francisco Carromero Barrios, was arrested Thursday evening. Her husband, Reinaldo Escobar, and a third person who was with them were also arrested in the south-eastern Cuban town of Bayamo.

Amnesty International also received information on the arrest of a small group of local activists from Bayamo in an apparent attempt to prevent any dissident activity during the trial.

“These apparently arbitrary arrests ahead of Ángel Carromero’s trial mark the latest in a string of harassment that Yoani Sánchez and other dissidents have suffered at the hands of Cuban authorities,” said Javier Zúñiga, special adviser to Amnesty International. “The authorities must immediately reveal the full details of everyone detained in Bayamo and either charge them with internationally recognizable criminal offences or set them free. Cuba’s senseless restrictions on freedom of expression and independent media must come to an end.”

Ángel Carromero Carromero is facing trial in Cuba after being charged with involuntary manslaughter for a car accident in July that resulted in the death of two Cuban opposition activists – Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero Escalante. The trial began this morning.

Further info can be found here.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.