UPDATED, May 16, 2010 — Calixto Martínez was released from jail on May 14.
UPDATED, May 31, 2010 — Calixto Martínez is back in jail, as of May 25.
UPDATED, June 11, 2010 — Calixto Martínez was released from custody on June 5, but only after being deported from Havana to his home province of Camagüey.
Perhaps the surest way for a Cuban dissident to attract the attention of the Castro dictatorship is to include among their activities, the reporting and writing of stories about what is really happening on the island today. Human rights and democracy activists are "dangerous" enough, but those Cubans with the courage to find and report the stories that the dictatorship would rather not be told must be stopped whenever possible.
One of those journalists, one of those Cubans who perfectly embodies the journalism maxim of "speaking truth to power," is Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, who recently was swept up by police during a recent crackdown on independent journalists.Reporters Without Borders has more:
The Union of Free Journalists of Cuba also is calling on the international community to demand Martínez's release.
Initially charged with “insulting behaviour,” Martínez is still being held and is now apparently accused of “aggravated violence” against a police officer at the time of his arrest although the authorities have offered no details about what allegedly took place. The vagueness indicates that the authorities themselves are not sure what they are claiming.
During his transfer to Valle Grande prison in La Lisa, on the outskirts of Havana, on 30 April, Martínez insisted that the charges were baseless. “This is an invention designed to stop my work and neither the police nor the prosecutor’s office can agree on the lies they are going to use to convict me,” he said.
Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate release of Martínez, who has been arrested many times in the past and deported three times to the eastern city of Camagüey, each time in connection with his journalistic work.
The government’s treatment of independent journalists has been worsening of late in a new crackdown on anyone trying to express dissident views under a regime marked by a complete absence of civil liberties.