Authorities must explain conviction of Cuban writer

New York, February 28, 2013–Cuban writer and blogger Ángel Santiesteban Prats is expected to begin serving a five-year jail sentence today on assault and trespassing charges brought by his former wife, accusations he has insisted have been fabricated. 

“We call on Cuban authorities to clarify the details of the trial against Santiesteban,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s senior program coordinator for the Americas. “The Cuban government has often thrown independent journalists in jail on trumped-up charges without substantiating any wrongdoing.  Authorities must fully disclose the evidence against Santiesteban,” said Lauría.

Santiesteban, an award-winning writer and author of the critical blog Los Hijos que Nadie Quiso (The Children Nobody Wanted), was sentenced in late 2012, and his conviction was confirmed on appeal on January 28. Cuba is the only country in the Americas with a reporter jailed for his work, CPJ research shows.