The Castro dictatorship is playing a "destabilizing game" with independent journalist Juliet Michelena Diaz, who was arrested April 7 after she reported on how police were using dogs to deal with unrest.
The Hialeah, Fla.,- based Cuban Institute for Freedom of Expression and the Press, for who Michelena wrote, reports that officials have be transferring her back and forth between two jails in order to "emotionally detabilize her."
Michelena hasn't eaten in more than 10 days, but she insists that she is not on hunger strike, just that she doesn't trust that officials, who have blocked her from receiving food delivered by her family, won't try to harm her by contaminating her food. Michelena continues to drink water.
Former Cuban prisoner of conscience Martha Beatriz Roque, told reporters in Havana last month that Michelena's arrest stems from an incident on March 26, when Michelena and other journalists witnessed police officers using dogs to break up a fight between Havana residents. (Roque is head of the Cuban Network of Community Journalists, for which Michelena also worked.)
The participants in the fight and several observers who photographed the incident, including Michelena, were briefly detained, but the journalist was able to hide her photographs before the officers could confiscate them, according to reports. They were later released.
Michelena was re-arrest arrested about two weeks later when authorities learned she still had the photographs and that she was preparing a report on what happened.
The authorities, who have charged Michelena with "assault, blame the back-and-forth transfers on paperwork problems, which apparently also have blocked efforts to obtain a defense attorney or a court hearing on her case.