Cuban Blogger Valle Roca arrested and detained for five days for trying to cover protests
March 26,Havana: A Cuban blogger Lázaro Yuri Valle Roca was held in police custody for trying to cover a protest by women's group 'Ladies in White',
According to reports, the independent blogger and activist was detained by a group of men who punched, handcuffed him, and took him to a police station.
Committee for the protection of journalists in a statement issued late Friday evening stated that, Valle Roca, who runs the blog Yurielconteston (Yuri the Arguer) and has aYouTube channel, said that he had been apprehended for allegedly attacking an official. The charge carries a prison sentence of up to three years. "The blogger, who regularly attends the protests as a journalist and an activist, told CPJ he does not face charges, but has been warned that he could face legal action if he is arrested again."
Aliuska Gómez García, a member of the Ladies in White group who had witnessed the arrest, said, "He was thrown to the ground by at least two people, and then forced up. I could see blood on his face."
Similarly according to CPJ, the coordinator of the Commission for Assistance to Journalists, which provides support to reporters and their families, told CPJ that rights activists and family members had spent three days calling hospitals and police stations to try to find Valle Roca. He was eventually located in Santiago de las Vegas police station, in the Boyeros neighborhood of Havana, she said.
Valle Roca's arrest took place the same day that U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Cuba, the first visit by a sitting U.S. president since 1928.
This is not the first the time the blogger has been detained. In June 2015, the blogger told the independent online Cuban newspaper 14ymedio he has been beaten while covering the Ladies in White protests, and that earlier that month he was briefly detained.
The Oslo Times