Amnesty International calls for urgent action in Cuba after independent journalist is threatened and assaulted
Document - Cuba: Journalist threatened and attacked: Roberto de Jesús Guerra
UA: 159/14 Index: AMR 25/001/2014 Cuba Date: 20 June 2014
Journalist threatened and attacked
Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez, director of the independent news agency Hablemos Press has been receiving threatening telephone calls and was assaulted on the streets of Havana, the capital. He believes these are attempts by the Cuban authorities to dissuade him from continuing his activities as a journalist.
Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez, founder and director of the independent news agency Hablemos Press (Let’s Talk Press) has been repeatedly receiving threatening telephone calls since 6 June. Different male voices have called his mobile phone and the landline at his home, which also doubles as the office of Hablemos Press, and have threatened that Roberto will be killed.
Just after 11am on 11 June Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez was walking in the municipality of Plaza de la Revolución in central Havana on his way to use internet facilities at the Czech Embassy. He was attacked without warning by an unknown individual who started to punch and kick him, leaving him with a broken nose and bruises all over his body. As he was being beaten four men on two motorcycles which are typically used by the Cuban Department of State Security pulled up beside him. Roberto stated that one of the men said “ok, that’s enough” (ya, ya, no le des más) before they drove off. Roberto recognized one of the four men as someone who had participated in repressing demonstrations by dissidents. Roberto and his wife filed a complaint against the attack at the police station in the Cerro municipality of Havana. Roberto was called back to the police station later that night where he identified his attacker from photographs he was shown.
At around 6pm on 17 June the same man who attacked Roberto shouted threats outside his house, including that he would kill Roberto and set fire to his house. Roberto’s wife returned to the same police station to file another complaint but they refused to take it and told her that they had no grounds for complaint (“la denuncia no procedía”).
Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:
Calling on the Cuban authorities to immediately investigate the assault on 11 June against Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez as well as telephone threats against him and to bring those found responsible to justice;
Calling on the authorities to ensure that citizens who seek to peacefully exercise their right to freedom of expression, assembly and association are able to so without harassment or intimidation