HAVANA TIMES – After suffering dozens of arrests in recent years, Cuban visual artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara is being held in Havana, about to be subjected to a summary court process.
His arrest is another example of the regime’s repressive escalation against Cuban civil society. With the hurried trial against the Cuban artist, the authorities hope to send an exemplary message to those who dare to make use of their freedom of expression.
The regime ups its repression by censoring works of art, blockading different independent media, persecution of journalists, illegal house arrest of activists and reporters, bans on leaving the country, cyberbullying, and harassment through citations and interrogations. The one-year prison sentence to the journalist and lawyer Roberto Quiñones Haces and the violations of due process in the case woven against opposition leader Jose Daniel Ferrer are two important examples.
The undersigned press media denounce the government’s wave of persecution against Cuba’s independent civil society. It represents a non-stop escalation of the repression against activists, journalists, artists and other critical voices.
Just hours before the announced summary trial of Luis Manuel Otero we reject the kangaroo court and demand his immediate release.
At the same time, we call on the Cuban regime to cease its harassment against artists, journalists or any citizen who exercises their right to freedom of expression in the country.
Asociación Pro Libertad de Prensa (APLP)
Diario de Cuba
Instituto Cubano por la Libertad de Expresión y Prensa (ICLEP)
La Hora de Cuba
Puente a la Vista
Havana, March 10, 2020