Nine more journalists detained, bringing total to 19

New York, March 20, 2003— In the second day of a sweeping crackdown on the political opposition and the independent press in Cuba, police arrested nine more independent journalists last night, bringing the total detained to 19.

The nine journalists—Manuel Vázquez Portal, Héctor Maseda, Oscar Espinosa Chepe, Adolfo Fernández Saínz, Mario Enrique Mayo, Fabio Prieto Llorente, Pablo Pacheco, Normando Hernández, and Carmelo Díaz Fernández—are presumably being held at the offices of the State Security Department, Cuba’s political police.

As in the March 18 operation in which ten journalists were arrested, police raided and searched the nine journalists’ homes, confiscating books, archive and research materials, cameras, and computers.