Torture in Cuba
December 2006
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AI Index: AMR 25/003/2006 5 December 2006
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Cuba: Possible prisoner of conscience/ harassment/ intimidation: Ahmed
Rodríguez Albacia (m)

PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 25/003/2006
05 December 2006

UA 325/06 Possible prisoner of conscience/ harassment/ intimidation

CUBA Ahmed Rodríguez Albacia (m), aged 21, journalist, and his family

On 4 December, Ahmed Rodríguez Albacia, a journalist for the Cuban-based
independent press agency Jóvenes sin Censura (Youth without Censorship), was
reportedly arrested at his house in Havana by State Security personnel and
National Police officers. He is being held at the police station located
at 100
Street and Aldabó Street in Havana. Amnesty International is concerned that
Ahmed Rodríguez Albacia may be a prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for
exercising his right to freedom of expression, association and assembly
in the
course of his journalistic work.

According to reports, days before Ahmed Rodríguez Albacia’s arrest, he, his
family and several dissidents who were gathered at his house were
subjected to
so-called “acts of repudiation” (“acto de repudio”), demonstrations of
government supporters outside the homes of dissidents and activists,
which are
often orchestrated by the authorities. Amnesty International believes that
these “acts of repudiation” could amount to psychological torture. The
“acts of
repudiation” started on 29 November, when stones were thrown at Ahmed
Albacia’s house, the roof of his house was set on fire, and some of Ahmed’s
guests were detained for a few hours by Cuban authorities when they left his
house. Stones were repeatedly thrown at Ahmed Rodríguez Albacia’s house
throughout the next two days, and one of his guests who had been
detained on 29
November was detained again for few hours on 30 November.

On 15 September, Ahmed Rodríguez Albacia was reportedly arrested at a police
station in Havana after requesting information about another dissident
who had
been arrested earlier .He was released on 17 September but police allegedly
threatened that if he carried on with his journalistic activities he
would be
detained again.

Freedom of expression and association is heavily restricted in Cuba. All
media outlets are under government control and independent media are banned.
Independent journalists who attempt to beat this censorship by publishing
articles outside Cuba face intimidation, harassment and imprisonment. Human
rights defenders also face intimidation and politically motivated and
arrests. The laws used to arrest and imprison journalists, relating to
defamation, national security and disturbing public order, severely
limit the
exercise of civil and political liberties.

AI Index: AMR 25/003/2006 5 December 2006

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