JULY 22, 2005
Posted: July 28, 2005

Oscar Mario González, Grupo de Trabajo Decoro


González, a journalist with the independent news agency Grupo de Trabajo Decoro, was arrested around 9 a.m., about a block from his house, as he was going to buy bread, according to colleague Ana Leonor Díaz.

Díaz, director of Grupo de Trabajo Decoro, told CPJ that González was being held at a police station in the Miramar neighborhood of Havana.

Authorities did not immediately say why González was detained or file any charges against him publicly. Díaz said González might have been detained in connection with a police crackdown that began July 22, when opposition activists planned to hold an antigovernment protest outside the French Embassy in Havana.

Several leaders of the protest group, the Assembly to Promote Civil Society in Cuba (APSC), were detained before they could join other protesters, according to international news reports and dissident groups. In all, at least 29 people were detained; most were released without charge.

In May, González covered the APSC congress for Grupo de Trabajo Decoro. The unprecedented two-day congress brought together 200 activists and guests to discuss ways to create a democratic society in Cuba. At the time, Cuban authorities detained and expelled at least five foreign journalists who had traveled to Cuba to cover the meeting.

Cuban prosecutors often fail to inform detained opposition activists about the charges they face and deny them the opportunity to review the evidence of their alleged crimes. Under the Code of Penal Procedure, detainees may be held for up to a week without a court reviewing the legality of their detention.