Just received the following via email from Raices de Esperanza regarding recently incarcerated journalist Ahmed Rodriquez Albacia and I urge all of you to take a few minutes to help out:
I am writing for your help in freeing a 21-year old Cuban journalist and personal friend of ours, Ahmed Rodriguez Albacia. In the past year, Raices de Esperanza (www.RootsofHope.org ) has facilitated many conference calls between Ahmed and members of our student and young professional networks. Many of us have worked with Ahmed on a daily basis and grown to call him a friend.
Ahmed is 21 years old and embodies the real HOPE we attempt to inspire. As an independent journalist, Ahmed has been recognized by internationally renown press agencies and advocacy groups like Reporters without Borders (www.rsf.org). Moreover, after firsthand reporting and documenting the many human rights abuses he must confront on a daily basis in Cuba – Ahmed still openly speaks about the HOPE for a better future. For those who haven’t spoken to him, just look at his picture and its difficult to deny that he could easily be one of us.
In the course of the last 24 hours, we’ve sent out an urgent action appeal to thousands of contacts asking them to spread awareness, promote solidarity, and call for Ahmed’s unconditional and immediate release. Along with info on Ahmed, we’ve included draft email text and the email addresses of Cuba’s embassies. For many of us, this is personal and we want to do everything possible to help. Below please find more information on Ahmed – YOUR HELP will only take 3 MINUTES.
Thanks in advance for your attention to this matter.
Cultural – Evolution Director
Raíces de Esperanza, Inc.
TAKE ACTION to free our friend Ahmed:
it will only take 5 minutes of your time
What if you were put in jail for something you wrote on your MySpace?
How would you feel if you were arrested for having a laptop or wanting to express your opinions about liberty and democracy to others?
Well, that is exactly what happened in Cuba. Combined forces of the National Police and State Security arrested 21 year old independent journalist, Ahmed Rodríguez Albacia, in a police operation of gratuitous scope on Monday, December 4th.
The military and police forces meticulously ransacked his house, confiscating his laptop computer, fax machine, and other materials used in his work as a journalist.
The officers informed Margarita Albacia, Ahmed’s mother, that he would be taken to Cien y Aldabó, a known Castro regime detention and torture center, and that she would be able to see him for a few minutes within a week.
Ahmed had been previously harassed and scrutinized by the Cuban Police, State Security and Rapid Response Brigades for several days before this incident. Last week, a government-organized mob threw rocks at Ahmed’s home and set his roof on fire. Anyone who entered or exited the home was arrested. On September 15th he was arrested arbitrarily at his home in Havana and held for 24 hours by the political police with no official cause for his detention.
Ahmed is an independent journalist from the Youth without Censorship press agency, and has been recognized by the international organization, Reporter without Borders, which promotes freedom of the press worldwide: www.rsf.org
SO WHAT CAN YOU? It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!
1) Copy and paste the following e-mail in Spanish and/or English, or write your own message:
A la representación diplomática que corresponda: Me dirijo a usted como miembro de Raices de Esperanza. Notamos con gran preocupación la detención del ciudadano cubano Ahmed Rodríguez Albacia, quien fue detenido por fuerzas combinadas de la Seguridad del Estado y la Policía Nacional el 4 de diciembre, después de un aparatoso operativo policial frente a su casa en la Habana Vieja. Ahmed Rodríguez Alabacia es un joven periodista independiente de veintiún años de la organización Jóvenes sin Censura en la isla. Estamos muy pendientes de lo que pueda llegar a pasarle y en virtud de esto es que solicitamos a su delegación diplomática que tenga a bien brindarnos información acerca de la situación del señor Rodríguez Albacia. Caso contrario iniciaremos acciones en la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. Hago propicia esta oportunidad para saludarlo atentamente.
To the Diplomatic representative to whom it may concern, I write you as a member of the international youth group, Raíces de Esperanza. We are deeply concerned about the recent arrest of Cuban citizen Ahmed Rodríguez Albacia, who was detained by State Security and the National police at his house in Havana on Monday, December 4. Ahmed Rodríguez Albacia is a 21 year old independent journalist who is a member of the “Youth Without Censorship” group on the Island. We are worried about what may happen to him and because of that, we are requesting that your diplomatic delegation send us more information on Rodríguez Albacia’s present condition. We will continue our international campaign for his release until the Cuban government decides to grant him freedom. If no actions are taken on your behalf, we will have no choice but to take this to the InterAmerican Court of Human Rights.
Thank you for your attention, Sincerely, [Name]
2) Copy and paste these e-mail addresses:
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3) Click “send”!