The appeal to journalists, human rights protectors and public figures.


At the night of 20 March the security service of Cuba arrested in Havana Adolfo Fernandez Sainz, a correspondent of the Moscow news agency PRIMA. After the search that lasted for 8 hours the journalist was taken to the Directorate of the state security. The search and arrest were conducted by eight security officers under the direction of captain Luis Perdomo Lamarque. The phone in the flat of Fernandez was switched off during the search. The security service seized a typewriter, two photographic cameras, telefax and the great number of documents and photos. About 1 a.m. Adolfo was transported to the investigation isolator of the state security directorate.

Adolfo Fernandez was born on 30 November 1948 in Cuba, in the town of Saint-Louis, province Pinar-del-Rio. He is a translator, graduated the Havana university. During 15 years he worked as a translator in government institutions. In October 1994 Fernandez was fired for his political views. He worked in the Cuba independent news agency „Patria“ („Fatherland“). He wrote articles on the political, social and religious topics. Since July 2001 he is a correspondent of the Moscow human rights protecting news agency PRIMA. Catholic. Resides in Havana by the address: Belascoain 465, apto 19, entre Zanja y Salud. Has the wife and adult daughter.

It is known nothing about the accusations brought against Adolfo Fernandez, but the family and friends of the arrested journalist are sure that these are political accusations. During last two days about 50 most active dissidents were arrested in Cuba, among them many independent journalists. In the opinion of advocate Rene Homes Mansano, one of the leaders of Cuban dissidents, the regime of Fidel Castro toughens the repressions against the dissidents in Cuba using the fact that the attention of world public is focused on the events in Iraq.

The editorial board of the agency PRIMA appeals to journalists, human rights protectors, political and public organizations and figures, all people of democratic views and good will to protect the arrested journalist. We appeal to denounce the communist government of Cuba that persecutes the people, who assert the ideals of freedom and democracy. We appeal to all, who is concerned with the freedom of speech, to speak out in the protection of Adolfo Fernandez.

We ask to send your protests to the government of Cuba, to Jorge Marti, the ambassador of Cuba in Russia, and to inform our editorial board about the protests.

Editor-in-chief of the Moscow human rights protecting news agency PRIMA

Aleksandr Podrabinek

20 March 2003

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