Judicial case against three independent Cuban journalists has been provisionally archived

Cuban authorities provisionally shelved the case for the crime of "encroachment of legal capacity" against three journalists from the independent journalism site La Hora de Cuba, Henry Constantín Ferreiro, director of said media, reported on Facebook.

On March 23, Constantín Ferreiro published in social networks that they were told about State Security’s decision "a year and a week (in my case), a year and a day(for Sol García Basulto), and two months and ten days (for Iris Mariño García)" after they were accused.

The crime of encroachment of legal capacity for which they could have received up to a year in jail, according to the Cuban Penal Code is imputed to those who "for profit or other malicious purpose, or causing harm or injury to another, perform acts proper to a profession for whose exercise they are not properly enabled," site Diario de Cuba reported.

García Basulto, who also collaborates with the Cuban news site 14yMedio, also posted news about the case on her Facebook account. "During that year of arbitrary denunciation we have not stopped denouncing, protesting and demanding our rights," said the journalist, thanking the media and friends who offered her support at that time.

However, García Basulto and Constantín Ferreiro are still under a travel ban. Constantín Ferreiro, also regional vice president of the Press Freedom Commission of the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) for Cuba, considered the measure "unjustifiable," according to what he published on social networks.

"They will continue the inconvenience and the harassment against us because, as Monterroso wrote, the dinosaur is still there," the journalist said on his Facebook account.

In his defense, Constantín Ferreiros said in his Facebook post, that they never committed the crime of encroachment of legal capacity when doing journalism. "Doing journalism and publishing the realities and aspirations of Cuba can only be a crime in the minds of people sick with intolerance or insecurity, that the only wish of those who gave the order was to keep us quiet and reduce us," he said.

Constantín Ferreiro has been harassed by the authorities for some years, according to the IAPA. Only between 2016 and 2017, he has been the victim of threats, interrogations and arbitrary detentions on nine occasions, the organization reported in March 2017.

In February 2017, the journalist was accused of the crime of carrying out enemy propaganda after being detained when he went to cover a tribute to a deceased opposition politician. At that time he was in the company of García Basulto. This charge was subsequently withdrawn.

García Basulto has also been detained and interrogated on several occasions by agents of State Security. She is also constantly monitored by the authorities, according to information from Diario de Cuba.

Concerning Iris Mariño García, when she was notified in late January 2018 that she was being investigated for the crime of encroachment of legal capacity, she was told at the police unit in the city of Camagüey that a person had reported her for having interviewed her on the street. "The same script that they used for us," Constantín Ferreiros told 14yMedio at the time.