Cuban journalist faces 15 years in prison for espionage charges

On Wednesday, July 18, Prosecutors sought a 15-year jail sentence for Cuban journalist José Antonio Torres who wrote a scathing investigative piece critical of an aqueduct construction project in the city of Santiago, according to the Miami Herald.

Torres, who was a reporter for the government's official newspaper Granma, was arrested in February 2011 on espionage charges, explained CubaNet.org.

Despite the espionage charges, the jailed journalist maintains that he is loyal to the Communist Party, reported Diario de Cuba, noting that Cuban President Raul Castro commended Torres in 2010 for his hard-hitting investigation into the aqueduct project.

Torres did not appear on the Committee to Protect Journalists' most recent census of jailed reporters, which showed that for the first time in 15 years, Cuba had no journalists imprisoned.

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.