Independent journalist released after nine days

December 12, 2006
Original alert: December 6, 2006

Ahmed Rodríguez Albacia, Jóvenes sin censura

Rodríguez Albacia, a reporter for the independent news agency Jóvenes sin censura, was released at 10 p.m. on December 12, after being detained for nine days at Havana’s police station, 100 y Aldabó. He told CPJ that authorities filed charges against him for spreading false news that harmed international peace, and barred him from leaving Havana while the trial is pending.

Rodríguez Albacia said the charges against him allegedly stem from two seven-month-old articles, which according to authorities are false. The journalist said that he reported on the brutal beating of a political prisoner in one of the articles, and on the death of a woman in the Villa Clara province as a result of a lack of proper medical attention for the other. No date has been set for the trail, he added.

On December 4, police and state security forces raided Rodríguez Albacia’s home in Havana, confiscating a computer, tape-recorders, a fax machine and several documents, a neighbor told the Miami-based news Web site CubaNet. The journalist was detained and kept incommunicado until his release. He said that he was questioned repeatedly during his detention.