Here’s a pretty neat campaign courtesy of Wilfredo Cancio Isla of El Nuevo Herald:
Group seeks to make point with press passes for Cubans
Nueva Prensa Cubana hopes to inspire solidarity with imprisoned journalists by distributing mock press passes.
BY WILFREDO CANCIO ISLA
A Miami-based organization wants to launch an international campaign seeking the freedom of journalists imprisoned in Cuba with a simple element of publicity: the press credentials of each prisoner, showing their name and a photo.
The Cuban press agency, Nueva Prensa Cubana (NPC) is printing up thousands of symbolic credentials of the 25 independent Cuban journalists who are behind bars serving sentences from two to 27 years.
To date, some 2,000 laminated ID cards in both English and Spanish have been printed, but the campaign calls for a total of 5,000 mock credentials that will be distributed to journalists in the United States, Latin America and Europe.
”The idea is that journalists will use them daily on their assignments or in the pressroom, as a show of solidarity with their imprisoned colleagues,” explained the director of NPC, Nancy Pérez Crespo.
The initiative coincides with the fifth anniversary of the so-called ”Black Spring of 2003,” during which some 75 peaceful dissidents were sent to prison; among them 28 journalists. Nine of the journalists arrested in 2003 have been released for humanitarian reasons, while others have gone into exile.
This is not the first time the NPC launches a unique proposal in favor of political prisoners in Cuba. In 2003, the organization circulated some 10,000 ”tourist brochures” throughout the world, which bore seductive images of Cuban tourist attractions, only to reveal a map inside of each brochure displaying the location of all political prisons within the island.
The new awareness campaign expects to send out CD-ROMS with the biography of each of the imprisoned journalists and copies of the judicial proceedings that each one faced; also copies of sample work from each writer or photographer.
One of the events to be targeted by the NPC campaign will be the Interamerican Press Society, or Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa (SIP), which will be held in Caracas, Venezuela between March 28 and 30.