Oscar Sánchez Madan freed from jail in Cuba

In early 2007, freelancer Oscar Sánchez Madan was detained twice and warned to stop working for the independent press after he covered a local corruption scandal and social problems in western Matanzas province, where he lived. He was arrested in April 2007 and, after a one-day trial, Cuban authorities convicted him of “social dangerousness,” a vague charge contained in Article 72 of the penal code. The reporter was handed the maximum prison sentence of four years; in June 2007, a local tribunal lowered the sentence to three years.

Sánchez Madan continued to report on human rights violations from prison, his neighbor, Juan Francisco Sigler said. Prison authorities threatened retaliation, saying they would do everything in their power to keep him jailed if he continued to write, Sigler told CPJ. On at least one occasion, inmates beat the journalist severely at the encouragement of authorities. As further retaliation, the reporter was sent to solitary confinement for weeks at a time, according to Sigler.

A municipal court of Unión de Reyes, Province of Matanza, freed Sánchez Madan on April 11, 2010, after the journalist completed the three-year term.