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72 hours in prison for each article published in DIARIO DE CUBA

State Security agents arrested DDC journalist Osmel Ramírez and assured him that he would be in a cell until Friday.


On Tuesday afternoon Police and State Security forces arrested DIARIO DE CUBA journalist Osmel Ramírez Álvarez at his home in Mayarí, Holguín, his wife Idalia Torres reported.

"He was arrested in the afternoon, about 2:30 pm today. He was picked up by a State Security agent and two police officers and taken away in handcuffs, as if he were a criminal. How unfair," she declared.

"They stated that for every article that he writes, he will be imprisoned. ‘This time it will be for 72 hours,’ the State Security agent said, but this followed by a threat: ‘the next time it will be followed by a lengthy judicial process and incarceration,’" Torres explained.

The journalist's 72 hours of detention will end on Friday at 2:30 PM.

"After those words, they cuffed him, put him in the vehicle, and took off as the rain poured down. That's the last time I saw or heard from Osmel," she added.

The journalist was imprisoned and incommunicado for three days in November last year after a very dramatic raid of his home, as a result of his work for this media source.

In January of this year Ramírez Álvarez complained of a "defamatory campaign" against him. Mayarí officials accused him of stirring up discontent among agricultural laborers there. More recently, in March, he was "regulated" by State Security and prevented from leaving the country.

Osmel Ramírez is also a contributor to the digital newspaper Havana Times, and opinion groups such as Socialismo Participativo y Democrático. Both he and his family have been threatened by State Security with criminal proceedings "for any common crime," and with jail time if he continues his work as an independent journalist.

In his last piece for DIARIO DE CUBA he reported on Mayarí's largest private pork producer, whom the government arrested, dismantling his business.

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