On April 26, freelance journalist José Luis Tan Estrada was arrested in the Cuban capital of Havana and has since been detained in the Villa Marista prison. (Photo: Provided by Yucabyte)
Police warned journalist José Luis Tan Estrada to stay at home on July 11 and not report on the third anniversary of Cuba's biggest protests since 1959. (Photo: Courtesy of Yucabyte)

Cuban police detain, threaten journalist José Luis Tan Estrada ahead of July 11 anniversary

Miami, July 9, 2024—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Cuban authorities to allow the media to report freely on July 11 demonstrations, following threats made against independent journalist José Luis Tan Estrada to deter him from covering the anniversary of the massive 2021 protests.

Tan Estrada said on Facebook that he was in a park in the central Cuban city of Camagüey on July 5 when a police officer briefly detained him and warned him that he risked imprisonment if he went to public places on July 11 or published anything to commemorate the demonstrations, the biggest seen in Cuba in decades.

“We are concerned that Cuban authorities’ detention of journalist José Luis Tan Estrada and threats to prevent him reporting on the anniversary of the 2021 protests is a worrying sign that the media may be stopped from covering events on July 11,” said CPJ U.S., Canada and Caribbean Program Coordinator Katherine Jacobsen. “It is vital that journalists across Cuba be allowed to report freely on matters of public importance, including demonstrations against the government.”

Following the 2021 protests over a lack of food and electricity and restrictions on rights, more than 1,400 people were detained and hundreds were prosecuted.

In April 2024, Tan Estrada, a former journalism professor, was arrested in the capital Havana, detained for a week and fined for 4,000 pesos (US$12) for alleged “criminal intent” to disrupt May 1 Worker’s Day celebrations.