Crime of enemy propaganda.


Repressive Laws Disrespect Illicit Association Enemy Propaganda Associating Dissemination Resistance Dangerousness Law 88 Article 91

Recent News on the crime of "enemy propaganda"

Archive search Propaganda enemiga or Enemy propaganda

Cuba's "criminal Law"

Article 103, which defines the crime of propaganda enemiga, or "enemy propaganda." It states that anyone who incites against the social order, international solidarity or the socialist state by means of verbal, written or any other kind of propaganda, or who makes, distributes or possesses such propaganda, can be imprisoned from between one to eight years. Anyone who spreads false news or malicious predictions likely to cause alarm or discontent among the population, or public disorder, can be imprisoned from between one and four years. If the mass media are used, the sentence can be from seven to fifteen years in prison.

Used for:

Cuba’s Criminal Code provides the legal basis for repression of dissent. Laws criminalizing enemy propaganda, the spreading of “unauthorized news,” and insult to patriotic symbols are used to restrict freedom of speech under the guise of protecting state security. The government also imprisons or orders the surveillance of individuals who have committed no illegal act, relying upon provisions that penalize “dangerousness” (estado peligroso) and allow for “official warning” (advertencia oficial).

Source: http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/01/18/cuba12207.htm

Victor Bressler Villazan and his son, Emilio Bressler Cisneros, were detained on 20 February 1993 and 15 March 1993 respectively. Both were tried on 1 and 2 July 1993. Victor Bressler Villazan was charged with "rebelión", "rebellion" and "propaganda enemiga", "enemy propaganda" and sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment, reportedly for suspicion of rebellion and for being a member of a dissident group and distributing flyers. Victor Bressler Villazan is currently imprisoned in Campamento Joturo-Bolango, Santiago de Cuba province. Emilio Bressler Cisneros was charged with "enemy propaganda" and sentenced to 6 years' imprisonment, reportedly for having distributed flyers. He is reportedly serving his sentence in Prisión de Boniato, Boniato Prison, Santiago de Cuba province, and is said to have been hospitalised for one month in October 1998.

Cecilio Monteagudo Sánchez, aged 26, a member of the unofficial Partido Solidaridad Democrático, Democratic Solidarity Party, was detained on 15 September 1997. On 13 February 1998 he was convicted on a charge of "propaganda enemiga", "enemy propaganda" and sentenced to four years' imprisonment. The charges were made on the grounds that he wrote a leaflet calling on people not to vote in the local elections that were due to be held in October 1997. The leaflet was never printed or distributed. He is currently carrying out his sentence at the Prisión de Guamajal, Guamajal Prison, Villa Clara province.

Orestes Rodríguez Horruitiner, aged 46, acting president of the unofficial Movimiento Seguidores de Chivás, Followers of Chivás Movement, in Santiago de Cuba, was detained on 23 July 1997 , reportedly after his home was searched and several leaflets, books and documents were found which were considered by the authorities to be counter-revolutionary. He was brought to trial on 11 November 1997, charged with "propaganda enemiga", "enemy propaganda", and sentenced to four years' imprisonment. He is currently serving his sentence in Prisión del Manguito, El Manguito Prison, Santiago de Cuba province. He is reportedly in a poor state of health, suffering from a severe bursitis inflammation, hypertension and glaucoma.

Source: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAMR250361999?open&of=ENG-2AM

Juan Carlos Recio Martinez and Cecilio Monteagudo Sanchez will reportedly stand trial on 3 February 1998, in the Villa Clara People's Provincial Tribunal, on charges of 'enemy propaganda' and 'other acts against state security'. This is reportedly on the grounds that they produced a leaflet calling on people not to vote in the local elections that took place in October 1997. Amnesty International considers Cecilio Monteagudo Sanchez, in detention since 15 September 1997, to be a prisoner of conscience and fears that Juan Carlos Recio Martinez is in danger of becoming one. It believes they were arrested solely for attempting to peacefully exercise their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. There is also concern that they will not be granted full judicial guarantees in accordance with international standards.

Source: http://www.cubanet.org/CNews/y98/feb98/05e2.htm

Mercedes Moreno, Bureau of Independent Press of Cuba (BPIC), THREATENED, HARASSED
Moreno, a BPIC reporter, was summoned to the state security agency at Villa Marista in Havana and charged with distributing false information and enemy propaganda. She was questioned about CPJ staff member Suzanne Bilello's visit to Cuba, though she never met with Bilello. Moreno was also threatened with criminal prosecution. In a letter to Cuban President Fidel Castro, CPJ expressed its deep concern about the charges against Moreno and the wave of harassment against independent journalists in Cuba.

Ramon Alberto Cruz Lima, Patria, THREATENED, HARASSED
Cruz, a reporter for the independent news agency Patria, was arrested in Ciego de Avila at the home of Hector Valdivia. Valdivia is the father of Roxana Valdivia, a Patria journalist who was forced into exile with her family in June. Hector Valdivia was also arrested but released soon after. Cruz told CPJ that he was detained and interrogated at the headquarters of the State Security Department for four hours. During the interrogation, Cruz was questioned about CPJ staff member Suzanne Bilello's visit to Cuba in June. At the time of his arrest, police confiscated articles that Cruz had written and threatened to use them as evidence in a criminal prosecution, but Cruz was not formally charged with anything. On Aug. 7, Cruz was summoned to the State Security headquarters and interrogated again, this time for six hours. The police threatened Cruz with charges of enemy propaganda, conspiracy, and practicing journalism illegally. In a letter to President Fidel Castro, CPJ urged the Cuban government to halt the harassment of Cruz and other independent journalists, which appeared to be part of an ongoing campaign against Patria.

Source: http://www.cpj.org/attacks96/countries/americas/cases/cubathreat.html

Throughout the year, police and state security agents continued to harass those 30-odd independent journalists not arrested in the March 2003 crackdown. Many were summoned for questioning by the State Security Department (DSE). Others were subjected to searches of their homes, temporarily detained, or threatened with prison sentences if they did not stop "distributing enemy propaganda."

Journalist and labour activist José Orlando González Bridón, jailed since 15 December 2000 and sentenced on 24 May 2001 to two years' imprisonment for spreading "false information" and "enemy propaganda", was released on 22 November. González Bridón, head of the small opposition group, the Cuban Democratic Workers' Confederation (CTDC), was the first member of the opposition in Cuba to receive a prison sentence for an article published on the Internet.

On March 12, Rafaela Lasalle, director of the independent news agency, Oriente Press in Santiago de Cuba, was summoned to a tribunal on crimes against state security and accused of "enemy propaganda".

On September 5, Héctor Trujillo Pis, a Cuba Press correspondent in Caibarién, was summoned by several State Security officials for a "conversation," RSF reported. After five hours, the officers threatened to have him prosecuted for publishing "enemy propaganda and false information."

Source: http://www.freemedia.at/wpfr/Americas/cuba.htm

In 1995 Rivero founded CubaPress, one of a handful of independent, and illegal, news agencies set up by dissident journalists in order to provide an alternative to Cuba’s state-owned media. Like the country’s other 40-odd journalists working outside the state media, Rivero is viewed as a political dissident and cannot publish or broadcast in Cuba. Instead, he sends his work abroad for circulation on the Internet and in U.S. and European publications, although publishing abroad can result in a jail sentence for spreading “enemy propaganda.”

Source: http://www.freemedia.at/IPIReport/Heroes_IPIReport2.00/40Riveiro.htm

The following is a 23 May 2001 CPJ press release:

CUBA: Jailed journalist charged with distributing "enemy propaganda"

New York, May 23, 2001 --- After a postponement, the trial of a jailed Cuban journalist is now scheduled to begin on Friday, May 25.

José Orlando González Bridón, a Cuban journalist and labor activist, has been jailed since December 15, 2000. While the nature of the charges against González Bridón was initially unclear, CPJ has recently determined that he is being prosecuted for his journalistic work. He is one of two journalists currently jailed for their work in Cuba.

Since late December, González Bridón has been confined in Combinado del Este, a prison east of Havana. In late February, he was transferred to a punishment cell for several days after staging a brief hunger strike. Local sources report that he suffers from high blood pressure and has lost considerable weight while in prison.

The government prosecutor has charged González Bridón with distributing "enemy propaganda," and has requested a seven-year prison sentence.

"Once again, Cuban authorities have shown contempt for the most elementary principles of press freedom," said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper. "José Orlando González Bridón is in jail today for doing nothing more than his professional duty. He should be released at once, and the charges against him should be dropped."

Today, Cuba is the only country in the Americas where journalists are in jail because of their work.

Since October 1999, González Bridón has been writing articles for the Miami-based Cuba Free Press Web site (www.cubafreepress.org). An electronics engineer by trade, he also serves as the secretary general of the Confederation of Cuban Democratic Workers (CTDC), an illegal trade union.

In the case report, González Bridón is accused of joining counter-revolutionary groups, meeting with antisocial elements, and giving distorted information to Miami-based radio stations, according to local sources.

The journalist has also been accused of spreading false information regarding the death of a fellow labor activist in a domestic abuse case. An article by González Bridón, posted to the Cuba Free Press site on August 5, 2000, alleged that Joanna González Herrera, CTDC's national coordinator, had died as a result of police negligence.

The first oral hearings in the trial were scheduled for May 11 at a Municipal People's Court in Havana, but were cancelled 12 hours before they were set to begin. State Security Department (DSE) authorities told González Bridón's family that it had been unable to notify witnesses.

Political observers in Cuba, however, believe González Bridón's trial and that of another dissident were postponed because President Fidel Castro Ruz was touring Asia and the Middle East at the time, and Cuban authorities feared that foreign journalists might bring up the two trials at President Castro's press conferences overseas. The trial is now scheduled to begin on May 25.

Another Cuban independent journalist, Bernardo Arévalo Padrón, remains jailed. Arévalo Padrón, founder of the Línea Sur Press news agency in the central province of Cienfuegos, has been imprisoned since 1997 for showing "lack of respect" for Castro and Cuban State Council member Carlos Lage. The journalist is currently in the labor camp El Diamante, in Cienfuegos, despite being eligible for parole. His health has suffered as a result of his prolonged imprisonment.

Source: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/13590/

Orestes Rodríguez Horruitiner, sentenced to four years' imprisonment in 1997 for ''enemy propaganda'' was conditionally released in April after serving part of his sentence. He was prosecuted after publications considered by the authorities to be counter-revolutionary were found at his home.

Source: http://web.amnesty.org/web/ar2001.nsf/webamrcountries/CUBA?OpenDocument

Reinaldo Alfaro García, vice-president of the unofficial Asociación de Lucha Frente a la Injusticia (ALFIN), Association for Struggle against Injustice, and a member of the executive of the unofficial Partido Solidaridad Democrático (PSD), Democratic Solidarity Party, was detained on 8 May 1997 after reportedly calling for an amnesty for political prisoners. He is being held at the Combinado del Este Prison, Havana province, and is said to be awaiting trial on a charge of "enemy propaganda".

Bernardo Arévalo Padrón, the director of Linea Sur Press, an independent press agency based in Cienfuegos, was detained by State Security on 14 August 1997 in Aguada de Pasajeros and released three days later to await trial. Initial reports indicated that he was to be tried on a charge of "defamation", reportedly on the grounds that he had insulted various government officials, including President Fidel Castro, in his articles. However, at his trial on 28 November 1997, he was sentenced to six years' imprisonment for "enemy propaganda", which was confirmed on appeal. He is reportedly serving his sentence in Ariza Prison, Cienfuegos province.

Félix A. Bonné Carcasés, a former university professor and member of the Grupo de Trabajo de la Disidencia Interna para el Análisis de la Situación Socio-Económica Cubana, Internal Dissidents' Working Group for the Analysis of the Cuban Socio-Economic Situation, was arrested on 16 July 1997, along with three other members of the group. As of December 1997, he was being held in Guanajay Prison, Havana province, where he is awaiting trial on charges which are believed to include "enemy propaganda" and possibly others. He is reportedly suffering from heart problems and diabetes.

René Gómez Manzano [9], a lawyer and founder of the independent lawyer's group Corriente Agramontista, Agramontist Current, and a member of the Grupo de Trabajo de la Disidencia Interna para el Análisis de la Situación Socio-Económica Cubana, Internal Dissidents' Working Group for the Analysis of the Cuban Socio-Economic Situation, was arrested on 16 July 1997, along with three other members of the group. At the time of writing he is being held in Agüica Prison, Matanzas province, awaiting trial on charges which are believed to include "enemy propaganda".

Dr Desi Mendoza Rivero, president of the Colegio Médico Independiente de Santiago de Cuba, Santiago de Cuba Independent Medical Association, was detained on 25 June 1997 in Santiago de Cuba, after making statements, which were disseminated by foreign media, about an epidemic of dengue fever in Santiago de Cuba which, according to him, had caused several deaths. He reportedly accused the authorities of covering up the true extent of the epidemic and of not taking sufficient measures to control it. He was brought to trial on 18 November 1997, charged with using the mass media to spread "enemy propaganda", and sentenced to eight years' imprisonment. He is serving his sentence in Boniato Prison, Santiago de Cuba province.

Cecilio Monteagudo Sánchez, a member of the unofficial Partido Solidaridad Democrática, Democratic Solidarity Party, in Camajuaní, Villa Clara province, was detained on 15 September 1997. He was due to be brought to trial on 25 November 1997, charged with "enemy propaganda" on the grounds that he wrote a leaflet calling on people not to vote in the local elections that were due to be held in October, but the hearing was adjourned. The prosecution are believed to be seeking a sentence of six years' imprisonment. He is believed to be held in La Pendiente Prison, Santa Clara, Villa Clara province. Also due to be tried in the same case is journalist Juan Carlos Recio Martínez (see below). As far as Amnesty International is aware, the trial has not yet taken place.
 

Vladimiro Roca Antunes, a specialist in international economic relations and member of the Grupo de Trabajo de la Disidencia Interna para el Análisis de la Situación Socio-Económica Cubana, Internal Dissidents' Working Group for the Analysis of the Cuban Socio-Economic Situation, was arrested on 16 July 1997, along with three other members of the group. All four are awaiting trial on charges which are believed to include "enemy propaganda". At the time of writing he is being held in Ariza Prison, Cienfuegos province, and is said to be suffering from high blood pressure.

Source: http://www.phaseloop.com/foreignprisoners/political/prisoners-cuba.html

Cuba said Monday it was pardoning two political prisoners serving sentences for ``enemy propaganda,'' and foreign diplomats said they would be going into exile to Spain.

A Cuban Foreign Ministry spokesman said the two, Dessy Mendoza and Jesus Chamber Ramirez, were being freed in response to a request made by Spanish Foreign Minister Abel Matutes, who visited the communist-ruled island earlier this month.

Source: http://www.fiu.edu/~fcf/cubapardonsforcesouttwo.html

Since late December, González Bridón has been confined in Combinado del Este, a prison east of Havana. In late February, he was transferred to a punishment cell for several days after staging a brief hunger strike. Local sources report that he suffers from high blood pressure and has lost considerable weight while in prison.

The government prosecutor has charged González Bridón with distributing "enemy propaganda," and has requested a seven-year prison sentence.

Source: http://www.cubanet.org/CNews/y01/may01/24e4.htm

Dr. Desi Mendoza Rivero, president of the Colegio Médico Independiente de Santiago de Cuba, Santiago de Cuba Independent Medical Association. Dr. Mendoza was detained on June 25, 1997 in Santiago de Cuba after making statements to the foreign media about a dengue fever epidemic in Santiago de Cuba which, he reported, had caused several deaths. He was brought to trial on November 18, 1997, charged with spreading "enemy propaganda" and sentenced to eight years in prison. His subsequent release in November 1998 and exile to Spain are discussed in Section X of this report.

Orestes Rodríguez Urrutinier (spelled Orruitiner in the Perspective Series report, Cuba: Systematic Repression of Dissent), president of the Comité de Amigos del Club de Ex-Presos Políticos, Committee of Friends of the Club of Ex-Political Prisoners, and acting president of the dissident Movimiento Seguidores de Chibás, Followers of Chibás Movement, in Santiago de Cuba. He was arrested in June 1997 and brought to trial on November 11, 1997 on a charge of spreading "enemy propaganda" and sentenced to four years in prison.

Source: http://www.cubafacts.com/Humanrights/HRPers99/hrpers99p2.htm

More on Cuba's abusive laws: Repressive Laws in Cuba abusing human rights


 

Main Page