Independent journalist Roberto de Jesus Quiñones Arrested in Guantánamo

El periodista Roberto de Jesús Quiñones.
Independent journalist Roberto de Jesus Quiñones.

At six in the morning on Monday, a group of 15 Interior Ministry troops stormed the house of lawyer and independent journalist Jesus Quiñones Haces, in the city of Guantánamo. The troops conducted a thorough search and took the reporter, without specifying the reasons for his arrest or his final whereabouts.

According to his mother, Maria Haces, 77, among those who participated in the operation were men in olive-green uniforms and others in blue and black, plus individuals in plainclothes. The entire search process was filmed with a small camera and they ultimately seized a computer, several disks and documents. The arrest occurred in the absence of Quiñones’s wife, who is traveling in the United States.

The reporter is also a member of the Corriente Agramontista association of independent lawyers. His reports on events in his province are published by the agency  CubaNet and one of his last works denounced the poor state of the road known as La Farola, in the Nipe-Sagua mountain range of Tánamo-Baracoa.

Before turning to independent journalism, he was a member of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) and collaborated with the official press on reviews of the cultural life of his city.

There are no references of any facts that led to the police action, as it is not the exercise of their professional activities. An official present in the operation said the mother of the detainee would be released by Tuesday at the latest.

The arrest occurs within hours of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) in Charleston (South Carolina, USA), where the IAPA will express its  concern about the situation of the press in Cuba and repression against independent reporters.

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