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Reporters Arrested
Friday, May 20, 2005   By: Juan Paxety

Four Poles and one Italian

Reporters Without Borders says four Polish journalists have been arrested in Cuba and a fifth expelled.

"Once again the Cuban authorities are trying to stifle all dissent by violating press freedom in the most crude and brutal fashion," the press freedom organization said. "This time they have targeted foreign journalists, although they had permission to come to Cuba. We firmly condemn these repressive methods and demand the immediate release of the detained journalists."

As he was being arrested last night, Jurecki had time to send a telephone text message to the privately-owned Polish television station TVN 24. A member of the TVN 24 staff told Reporters Without Borders the message said : "We are being taken from the hotel to prison. We need help."

An Italian reporter has also been arrested.

Meanwhile, Francesco Battistini, the correspondent of the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, today told his newspaper in a telephone text message that he had just been picked up by the Cuban police. He will also probably be expelled.

The reporters were in Cuba to cover the Assembly.

While Terry Moran and Elisabeth Bumiller complain about the White House "telling them what to print," this shows the life of a real reporter in fidel's worker's paradise.

Update - Radio Polonia now reports that five arrested journalists have been released and thrown out of the country.  The radio station says a sixth reporter will leave tonight, and that the government is upset with fidel.

The Polish foreign ministry has called the detention of Polish journalists in Cuba a violation of international law. The ministry said in a statement to the Cuban ambassador to Poland that Warsaw will not tolerate such actions against Polish citizens.

Update - Val has photographs from Stephania of the Assembly meeting.  Let's hope these photographs will live on in Cuban history.


(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren