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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Journalists are jailed in Cuba, Honduras and Venezuela for their work, according to annual report from CPJ



Three journalists in Cuba, Honduras and Venezuela are among the 250 journalists jailed worldwide for their work, according to an annual special report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

They are Cuban journalist Roberto de Jesús Quiñones, Venezuelan Jesús Medina Ezaine and Honduran journalist David Romero Ellner.

Quiñones began serving a year-long sentence for resistance and disobedience on Sept. 11, 2019. The journalist for CubaNet was detained and beaten by police while covering a trial, according to CPJ. After he was released, the Cuban prosecutor’s office said he resisted arrest and gave him a fine, which the journalist refused to pay, according to what ABC.es reported at the time. He was convicted and appealed the sentence, but then notified there would be no new trial, according to Article 19 of Mexico and other organizations that released a joint note following the incident.

Medina was detained on Aug. 29, 2018 by agents of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin) while assisting a couple of colleagues in carrying out a report in a Caracas subway station. He is accused of money laundering, criminal association, illegal enrichment against acts of public administration and inciting hate, CPJ reported. An ordinary court will hear his case, however, he is imprisoned in the Ramo Verde military prison, as published by Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional. Medina is the only Latin American journalist on the list this year who was also jailed last year.

In Honduras, Romero was detained in March 2019 to serve a 10-year prison sentence for the crime of defamation. The police raid that resulted in his arrest was broadcast by TV Honduras. In 2016, a court found him guilty of defaming former prosecutor Sonia Inés Gálvez in a report on alleged acts of corruption broadcast on Radio Globo, his radio station.

CPJ’s data is up-to-date as of Dec. 1, 2019 includes those in government custody and only those jailed because of their work. The list does not include journalists who were jailed and released ahead of this time.



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