Cuba: Release Independent Journalist Immediately

Washington

In response to the violent abduction of independent journalist Lázaro Yuri Valle Roca, whose whereabouts are unknown, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“The Cuban government should inform Valle Roca’s family of his whereabouts and release him immediately,” said Carlos Ponce, director for Latin America programs. “Despite President Castro’s claims to defend human rights, the Cuban government continues its blatant repression of freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right to peacefully protest.”

Background:

On March 20, Lázaro Yuri Valle Roca was abducted and detained by the Cuban secret police in an incident captured on video by Voice of America, prior to President Obama’s visit. Valle Roca was previously beaten and arrested for his work as an independent journalist. Valle Roca is one of the grandchildren of the late Blas Roca Calderío, founding member and leader of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC).
 
Cuba is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2016, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2015, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2015.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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