Cuban delegate criticizes independent journalists, discredits UN freedom of expression reports

In a speech before the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Cuban delegate discredited reports about freedom of expression on the island, reported the newspaper Diario de Cuba.

Delegate Juan Antonio Quintanilla criticized the UN's Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Frank La Rue, saying the rapporteur only criticizes developing countries and ignores the repression of protesters and the persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange -- violations of freedom of expression in developed countries, reported the Cuban News Agency.

Quintanilla also disagreed that bloggers and other citizens reporting on news are journalists, according to the official government news agency Prensa Latina.

The delegate also claimed that citizen journalists publish false news and or are financed by foreign powers who want to distort the Cuban reality.

In June, an independent Cuban journalist said he was beaten by police and a blogger was expelled from the island for interviewing an activist. The Committee to Protect Journalists has ranked Cuba among the 10 most-censored countries.

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.