Monday, May 3, 2010

Reporters Without Borders Names Raúl Castro a predator of press freedom

Raúl Castro: one of forty predators of press freedom

Raúl Castro - Cuba President of the Council of State and Council of Ministers

Fidel Castro passed the reins of power to his younger brother Raúl, the defence minister, five days after falling ill on 26 July 2006 and undergoing a major operation. Formally confirmed as President of the Council of State on 24 February 2008, Raúl has behaved little better than his brother as regards human rights, despite a few cautious hints of a possible opening. The so-called transition period saw continued harassment of independent journalists including police brutality, summonses and searches by State Security (the political police) and detention for short periods. Nineteen of the journalists arrested during the March 2003 “Black Spring” continue to serve jail terms ranging from 14 to 27 years in appalling conditions. A 20th journalist has been held without trial since 2005. Five others have been imprisoned since Raúl took over. With a total of 25 journalists detained, Cuba is one of the world’s biggest prisons for the media, just behind China and Iran.

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