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Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2002 - Cuba

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 26 March 2003
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2002 - Cuba, 26 March 2003, available at: [accessed 28 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Restrictions to freedom of expression125

In January 2002 official decree 383/2001 came into force under which "computers, printers, scanners, photocopiers, and other means of mass printing" will no longer be allowed to be sold to associations, foundations and individuals, without a special authorisation from the Ministry of Internal Trade. The aim of the decree is clearly to limit the work of defenders, journalists and human rights organisations. Furthermore repression against the work of defenders has intensified, with a large number of arbitrary arrests and cases of housebreaking, shadowing and threats. Mr. Leonardo Miguel Bruzón Ávila, President of the Human Rights Movement, was arrested on 22nd February 2002 with seven other activists, while he was demonstrating peacefully against police aggression towards an independent journalist, Carlos Alberto Dominguez. On 4th March 2002 eight activists and two independent journalists, including Mr. Juan Carlos González Leiva, President of the Cuban Human Rights Foundation, were arrested and injured by the Ciego de Avila political police. They were peacefully demonstrating in protest against the aggression towards the independent journalist Jesus Alvarez Castillo. Misters Delio Laureano Resquejo, Odalmis Hernández, Mrs Ana Peláez, Mr. Lázaro Iglesias, Virgilio Mantilla, Enrique and Antonio García, Lexter Téllez Castro, director of the Avileña Free Press Agency (Agencia de Prensa Libre Avileña – APLA) and Mr. Carlos Brizuela Yera, of the Camaguey Association of independent journalists (Colegio de Periodistas Independientes de Camagüey – CPIC) have been detained since 4th March 2002. In September 2002, Mr. Juan Carlos González Leiva refused to drink in protest against his detention. He would have received death threats from the prison authorities. His wife, Mrs. Maritza Calderin was warned that she could be arrested for having alerted the international community to her husband's situation.

At the end of December 2002, only Mr. Lázaro Iglesias Estrada and Mr. Jesús Álvarez Castillo have been released. The others are still detained, pending the opening of their trial.

[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website ( was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

125. Open letter to President Fidel Castro, 10 June 2002.

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