Cuba forces 18 journalists into exile in one year, says CPJ report

By Ian Tennant

Cuba is one of the top two nations in the world with the worst record of forcing journalists into exile, said the Committee to Protect Journalists in a new report.

Cuba exiled 18 journalists between June 1, 2010, and May 31, 2011, the same amount as Iran, reported The Telegraph. One Mexican journalist, who was not named in the report, was also forced into exile.

The predominant cause, 82 percent, of forced exiled among 67 journalists worldwide was imprisonment or fear of being jailed, AFP reported, while 15 percent of exiled journalists left their home countries after attacks or threats of violence. Three percent reported incessant harassment, such as interrogations or surveillance.

The most recent Cuban journalist forced into exile, Albert Santiago Du Bouchet, was released April 8 and sent to Spain.

Cuban reporter Victor Rolando Arroyo Carmona, one of more than 50 journalists arrested during the "Black Spring" of March 2003, told CPJ that living in exile in Spain is difficult personally and professionally. "We don't even have our professional titles," Arroyo Carmona said. "We live in limbo."

Meanwhile, the violence against Mexican journalists continues, leading to protests and marches by media workers and attempts by three journalists to seek asylum in the United States.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.