KUBA: Sofortige Freilassung des Dichters und Journalisten Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces

Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces © Cortesia

11. Juni 2020 – PEN International fordert die sofortige und bedingungslose Freilassung des Dichters, Anwalts und unabhängigen Journalisten Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces. Im April 2019 wurde er festgenommen, als er über einen Prozess für die Nachrichtenwebsite CubaNet berichtete. Quiñones Haces wurde fünf Tage später freigelassen und zu einer Geldstrafe für sein Verhalten während seiner Haft verurteilt, das angeblich „Ungehorsam“ und „Widerstand“ darstellte. Nachdem er sich geweigert hatte, die Geldstrafe zu zahlen, wurde er am 7. August zu einer Gefängnisstrafe von einem Jahr verurteilt und am 11. September 2019 inhaftiert. Während seiner Inhaftierung hat Quiñones Haces aufgrund der Haftbedingungen gesundheitliche Probleme entwickelt, und nach Angaben der Verwandten des Schriftstellers ist er durch Covid-19 besonders gefährdet.

„PEN International ist der Ansicht, dass Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces ein Opfer der Zensur in Kuba ist und seine Inhaftierung sein Recht auf freie Meinungsäußerung verletzt. Wir sind um seine Gesundheit besorgt und fordern in diesem Sinne seine unverzügliche Freilassung“, sagte Carles Torner, Exekutivdirektor von PEN International.

TAKE ACTION! Werden Sie aktiv!

Bitte richten Sie ihre Forderungen an die Behörden der Republik Kuba:

– Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces unverzüglich und bedingungslos frei zu lassen

– die Verfolgung von Schriftstellern, Journalisten, Menschenrechtsverteidigern, Kulturaktivisten, Künstlern und anderen Dissidenten zu beenden und unverzüglich alle Personen freizulassen, die inhaftiert sind, weil sie ihr Recht auf Meinungsfreiheit und freie Meinungsäußerung ausgeübt haben

– Aufhebung der Dekrete 370 und 349, die das Recht auf Meinungs- und Informationsfreiheit einschränken

– Beendigung der gerichtlichen Schikanierung von Schriftstellern und Journalisten

Senden Sie ihre Proteste an:


Sr. Miguel Díaz-Canel

Addres: Hidalgo, Esquina 6. Plaza de la Revolución, La Habana, CP 10400, Cuba.

Email: despacho [at] presidencia.gob [dot] cu Twitter: @DiazCanelB

Minister of Justice

Mr. Oscar Silvera Martínez

Calle O #216 entre 23 y 25. Plaza de la Revolución, La Habana, Cuba.

Email: apoblacion [at] minjus.gob [dot] cu Twitter: @CubaMinjus / Facebook: @MinisterioJusticiaCuba

Kubanische Botschaft in Deutschland:

Botschaft der Republik Kuba, Sr. Ramón Ripoll Díaz, Stavangerstraße 20, 10439 Berlin

Email: secretariaembajador [at] botschaft-kuba [dot] de


The Prison

The prison is old Enrique
wasting time
as he smokes away
it is Pompi the Haitian
calling to his ancestors
while his vision, broken by prison bars,
stretches up toward the sky.
Prison is the hate in eyes
rotten food that is served
longing for ones children
a nocturnal cabal severed by blows
against the fence
and light beams that slice the night
and everyones’ despair.
No one cares about the lost eyes
of the imprisoned
hands orphaned of touch
dreams or tears
while a sliver of salt
comes to pierce the dawn.
Here, they only have a gray life
like the humanity of their judges.
If they awake dead
they’ll have an unknown vigil
like our suffering.
By Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces
Translation: Jennifer Clement, President of PEN International


Hintergrund (bereitgestellt vom internationalen PEN):

Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces is a 63-year-old Cuban poet, lawyer, and independent journalist. He was detained and beaten by state agents on 22 April 2019 while covering a trial for the news website CubaNet. Quiñones Haces was reportedly released five days later and fined for conduct during his detention, which they alleged, constituted ‘disobedience’ and ‘resistance.’ He was sentenced to one year in prison on 7 August 2019 after refusing to pay the fine. Although Quiñones Haces has presented evidence in favour of his case and requested a new trial, on 19 August the Court rejected both the evidence and the request for a new trial and on 11 September 2019, Quiñones was detained.

Roberto Quiñones has also written about his imprisonment conditions, which include constant humiliation, overcrowding, contaminated water and food, and a lack of proper medical attention. He has also reported being threatened because of his articles and letters.

On 12 November 2019, the writer managed to secretly send out a letter from prison in which he denounces the harassment of which he is being victim in there. On 22 November 2019, Roberto Quiñones requested revision of the sentence. He, as a lawyer, also pointed to articles of the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba that had been violated including being reportedly subjected to a beating and denial of access to his family. In the letter, he states that he is being discriminated against owing to him being a “counter-revolutionary”.

On 31 March, he published in Cubanet that, although authorities in the prison had implemented some measures to deal with COVID-19, “the quality of the food is still deplorable. Despite reports of the vulnerability of older adults (prisoners over 60) to COVID-19, many of them are kept in cubicles where they live in overcrowded conditions with almost two dozen people.” According to his family, Roberto is allegedly locked up in a small cell with at least 17 other people, sharing beds and toilet facilities.

Roberto is a writer and the author of poetry books La fuga del ciervo, Escritos desde la cárcel and El agua de la vida, among others. His work has been awarded with the Internacional de Poesía Vitral award (2001), the International Poetry Award Nósside (2006) and the Sixth Patmos Award on Religious Freedom (2019). As a lawyer, Roberto was imprisoned from 1999 to 2001 for his work on Human Rights; as a consequence, he was banned from practicing law.

On April 2020, CPJ included Roberto’s case as “one of the 10 most urgent cases of journalists under attack” around the world. Roberto is part of PEN International’s 2019 Case List.

Freedom of expression in Cuba

Cuba still holds the record for having the most restricted climate for the press in the Americas, according to a CPJ report, which rated it as the 10th most censored country globally in 2019. Miguel Díaz-Canel’s government continues to repress and punish dissent and criticism and control a large part of media. From January to August 2019, there were reportedly 1,818 arbitrary detentions of independent journalists and human rights defenders and other government critics. Writers, artists and cultural activists has suffered arrests and judicial and police harassments –that illustrate the repression. In April 2019, Decree 349 entered into force, establishing restrictions on artistic expression, and requiring the prior approval of the Ministry of Culture for the provision of artistic services in public or private spaces. Although repression of freedom of expression and freedom of press has been long-standing and systematic, the current wave of repression has been intensified by the application of Legal Decree 370 “On the computerization of Cuban society,” in force since July 4, 2019. At least 30 people have been subjected to interrogation, threats, and seizure of work equipment (especially that of journalists) for broadcasting their opinions on social media.

Das vollständige Statement des internationalen PEN.