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CUBA: Three more journalists released

Wednesday 25 August 2010 - 1:00am

Update #3 to RAN 40/10 25 August 2010

The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of International PEN is delighted at the news of the release of three more Cuban journalists imprisoned since 2003. Fabio Prieto Llorente and Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta touched down in Madrid on 19 August 2010 while Juan Adolfo Fernández Saínz (pictured below) arrived the next day, all three with their families. With their release, a total of 15 Cuban writers have now been freed and exiled since 12 July under a deal brokered by the Catholic Church and the Spanish government. The WiPC welcomes this news, but remains 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 10 other Cuban writers, journalists and librarians still in prison for their writings.

Details of the three released journalists:

Juan Adolfo FERNÁNDEZ SAÍNZ (pictured left): journalist (correspondent for independent news agency Patria). Date of birth: 30 November 1948. Sentence: 15 years. Honorary Member: Catalán PEN, English PEN.

Juan Carlos HERRERA ACOSTA: journalist (Eastern Free Press Agency - Agencia de Prensa Libre Oriental or APLO). Sentence: 20 years. Charge: Law 88. Honorary Member: German PEN.

Fabio PRIETO LLORENTE: freelance journalist and member of the Asamblea para la Sociedad Civil (Civil Society Assembly). Year of birth: 11 March 1963. Sentence: 20 years. Honorary Member: English PEN.

For background information on the releases, please see the previous update alert of 19 August 2010.

Useful links

•Report on the release of Fabio Prieto Llorente and Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) (19 August 2010): http://cpj.org/2010/08/2-cuban-reporters-freed-arrive-in-madrid-13-now-re.php (English); http://cpj.org/es/2010/08/dos-reporteros-cubanos-arriban-a-madrid-suman-13-l.php (Spanish)
•Report on the release of Juan Adolfo Fernández Saínz by CPJ (20 August 2010): http://cpj.org/2010/08/14th-cuban-journalist-freed-flown-to-spain.php (English); http://cpj.org/es/2010/08/llega-a-espana-decimocuarto-periodista-cubano-libe.php (Spanish)
•Opinion piece by Juan Adolfo Fernández Saínz paying tribute to the Damas de Blanco (Women in White) (22 August 2010): http://lanuevacuba.com/main/201008221743/opinion-y-analisis/opinion/grandeza-de-espiritu.html (Spanish only)
•Report by the BBC on the new lives in Spain of some of the journalists released in July, including José Luis García Paneque, Julio César Galvez, Ricardo González, Normando González Hernández, Mijail Bárzaga and Léster González (13 August 2010): http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/america_latina/2010/08/100812_vida_disidentes_cubanos_aw.shtml?s (Spanish only)