On Wednesday, January 30 Amnesty International declared Cuban journalist, Calixto Martínez Arias, a prisoner of conscience and demanded that he be immediately released by Cuban authorities. He is currently imprisoned for reporting on the Cholera outbreak on the Island, an issue that the Cuban government finds “controversial.”

Prior to his arrest on September 16, 2012, Martínez was investigating allegations that the government, in an effort to down-play the seriousness of the cholera outbreak that began in mid 2012, was withholding medicine provided by the World Health Organization at the Jose Marti airport in Havana. On September 16th, Martínez went to the airport to investigate the situation. While he was there, he made a brief phone call to his colleagues at Hablemos Press to inform them that he had interviewed airport employees and had taken photographs. Soon after, he was detained.

Though he was never formally charged or faced court, the police are accusing him with “disrespect” toward President Raul Castro and former president Fidel. He is currently being held at Combinado del Este prison on the outskirts of Havana.

To read the full URGENT ACTION report released by Amnesty International click here.  To read the press release click here

Amnesty International believes Calixto Martínez Arias has been detained for political reasons “related to his peaceful exercise of freedom of expression” (AI Urgent Action Report). The Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba stands with Amnesty International in their demand for the immediate release of Calixto Martínez Arias by Cuban authorities.

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