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State Security Refuses to Answer Questions About Osmel Ramírez Álvarez

The DIARIO DE CUBA journalist remains detained and held incommunicado.


On Wednesday DIARIO DE CUBA journalist Osmel Ramírez Álvarez continued to be detained in a holding cell at the police station in Mayarí, Holguín, confirmed his wife, Idalia Torres.

"He is incommunicado, you cannot see him," Torres said. "My father-in-law asked the State Security agent who handles Osmel's case, and he was told not to ask about him, that he did not want to know anything about him, and that he was tired of talking to him."

"He reiterated what he was told when he was arrested: that he would be imprisoned for each article that he wrote."

Ramírez Álvarez was arrested on Tuesday afternoon at his home. A State Security agent and two police officers "took him away handcuffed, as if he were a criminal," his wife said at the time.

The agents said that the journalist "would be detained" every time he published an article. In addition, State Security "threatened that the second arrest would involve a judicial process against him, and that he would be imprisoned for a long time," Torres explained.

According to the journalist's wife, he will be transferred on Thursday morning to the Criminal Prosecution Unit known as Pedernales, in Holguín.

"There, apparently, he will spend the three days that they said he was going to be a prisoner. He should be released on Friday, which is when the 72 hours are up, but, if they are going to transfer him there, most likely they won't start counting until he reaches Pedernales," reasoned Torres.

Ramírez Álvarez was already at Pedernales, a prisoner, isolated for three days, in November of last year, after a high-profile raid of his house in response to his work for this newspaper.

The authorities confiscated his work equipment at that time, and have refused to return it to him.

In January of this year Ramírez Álvarez complained of a "defamation campaign" against him. Mayarí officials accused him of stirring up discontent among agricultural laborers there. Since his previous arrest he has been "regulated" by State Security and cannot leave 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 the 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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