July 25, 2012 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Sakharov prize-winner Fariñas detained at funeral of Cuban activist

The Cuban cyber journalist and dissident Guillermo “El Coco” Fariñas Hernández, recipient of the European Parliament’s Sakharov prize in 2010, was detained and assaulted by police yesterday during the funeral of the leading activist Oswaldo Paya (click here to read the story in Spanish). “The arrest of Guillermo Fariñas highlights the inability to take part in dialogue on the part of the government, which refuses to apply UN accords on civil and political rights which it signed in 2008,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We stress the need for a debate on the application of human rights and respect for basic freedoms in Cuba.” About 50 other activists were detained during the funeral. A large force of police was deployed and intervened to make arrests when anti-government slogans were chanted. Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the situation of the journalist José Antonio Torres, a communist party member who faces 15 years’ imprisonment for spying. The press freedom organization wonders about the reasons for this conviction when the work of Antonio Torres, in particular his coverage of the construction of an aqueduct in Santiago, has been publicly recognized by President Raul Castro.