Committee to Protect Journalists
(www.miscelaneasdecuba.net).- New York, September 27, 2010. Imprisoned
Cuban journalist Miguel Galván Gutierrez was released from jail and
flown to Madrid on Saturday, as part of a July agreement between the
Havana government and the Catholic Church. Sixteen journalists jailed in
the 2003 Black Spring crackdown have now been freed and exiled as part
of the agreement.
"Although I am currently fighting with some health issues resulting from
a seven year- period in jail, I am ready to continue reporting and
working on behalf of democratic ideals in Cuba ," Galván told CPJ in a
phone interview today. Despite a deep desire to stay in Cuba , Galván
said, he decided to leave the island for the sake of his long-suffering
family. "I was ready to face any obstacle in my attempt to practice
independent reporting. But as soon as I was jailed, I realized that all
the obstacles had been transferred to my family," Galván said.
A journalist for the independent news agency Havana Press, Galván was
sentenced to 26 years in prison shortly after his arrest in the March
2003 government crackdown on political dissent and independent
journalism. Four journalists arrested in the 2003 crackdown remain in
jail, as does one other journalist who was detained later, CPJ research
Following talks with leaders of Cuba 's Catholic Church, President Raúl
Castro's government agreed in July to free a total of 52 dissidents
arrested in the 2003 crackdown. Spanish government officials also
participated in the talks.
All 16 of the journalists released thus far were immediately whisked
into exile in Spain . (One has since relocated to Chile .) So far, the
Cuban government has not freed imprisoned reporters who want to remain
on the island after their release.
A story Thursday in the Madrid-based daily El País quoted Spanish
officials as saying that imprisoned reporters who want to stay in Cuba
upon release will be freed through a special parole program. Rights
groups on the island decried the parole program as an effort to keep
close control of the detainees even after their release, the Miami-based
daily El Nuevo Herald reported. The Cuban government has not confirmed
the existence of the parole program.
By clicking here, you can access a capsule report on Galván's case from
CPJ's annual census of jailed journalists, conducted in December 2009.