Thursday, September 29, 2016

Committee to Protect Journalists issues report on internet access and journalism in Cuba

"The restrictions also mean that despite the rise of independent journalism and blogging in Cuba, there are often more readers outside the country than on the island."- Committee to Protect Journalists

Illustration points to important division in Cuba with regards to internet
The Castro regime appears to be changing tactics in their control and censorship of the internet. The Committee to Protect Journalists have published an important and detailed report by Alexandra Ellerbeck titled: Connecting Cuba: Staying connected in an offline world  that is too long to reproduce here but is available online.

However the Committee to Protect Journalists offers the following recommendations, although brief, shed light on the lack of freedoms on the ground in Cuba:

To the Cuban government
  1. Implement constitutional and legal reforms to ensure full respect for freedom of expression and to allow journalists to work freely without fear of reprisal.
  2. Amend the restrictive legal framework that bans privately owned media ownership and ensure freedom of speech and the press in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Cuba is a signatory.
  3. Allow the creation of press cooperatives or privately owned media so that journalists are not forced to operate in a legal limbo.
  4. Foster an environment that encourages the state press to operate independently and report critically.
  5. End the practice of summonses, brief detentions, and harassment of independent journalists.
  6. Make internet access more affordable and extend connectivity to the internet without restrictions.
  7. Accept the 2015 request by David Kaye, the U.N. special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, for an invitation to visit Cuba as part of his mandate.

To the Organization of American States

  1. Request authorization for the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression to conduct a mission to Cuba to assess the state of press freedom and freedom of expression, and report its findings and recommendations publicly.
  2. Ensure any dialogue with Cuba regarding its participation in the multilateral body includes consideration of its press freedom record, including harassment and intimidation of journalists, summonses, and brief detentions.

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