Reporters Without Borders informed about the hunger and thirst strike that the independent journalist carries out to demand internet access.
Friday February 3, 2006 20:44:00
Reporters Without Borders (RWB) made public this Thursday the hunger and thirst strike initiated last January 31 by the independent journalist Guillermo Fariñas to protest for the limitations of internet access that the members of the press agency that he directs faces, Cubanacán Press, located in Santa Clara.
In an open letter to Fidel Castro, published the day in which the strike initiated, Fariñas assured that he thinks to maintain the strike "until death".
"I want that all the Cuban citizens have the right to be connected to Internet, but also that the independent press can report the actions of the Cuban government. If I have to be a martyr of the access to the information, I will be one", the journalist said to RWB.
The organization declared its solidarity with Fariñas. "If the citizens are at the margin of Internet, is above all because the Cuban government does not want them to be informed", declared RWB, which included Havana in its list of 15 main enemies of the Network and considers the Cuban regime as one of the most repressive in matter of freedom of speech.
In his letter to Castro, Fariñas denounced that since last January 23 the journalists of his agency, that operates out of the governmental control, cannot send, like they did up to that point, "the information through a public center of Internet, paid, of course, in freely convertible currency".
Since January 23 "our work as free press that is based on the articles 19 and 27 of the Universal Statement of Human Rights has been impeded", the journalist said.
In an interview granted this Thursday to the organization “Puente Informativo Cuba-Miami”, Fariñas said that his intention is "to show to the Cuban government that it really is a liar", and emphasized that in the United Nations Summit on the Free Access to the Information, carried out in Rabat, a representative of Havana said that "all the Cubans have free Internet access".
"We have the moral commitment and the social responsibility as independent journalists to report all the abuses, misconducts, and all the points of view that the present Cuban government does not publish because it considers them as not harmonious with its ideology", affirmed Fariñas, who has a degree in Psychology.
"As independent journalists it is our responsibility to denounce what could happen with our brothers that are being beaten up in a ferocious violent ways", added to explain his position to require access to the Network.
"They are hitting women, elderly men" and "we cannot access the network to publish these abuses and the Cuban government must pay the political price of these actions that are carried against us", added.
"I, personally, as a journalist see myself powerless to transmit to the world what the Cuban government is doing with our brothers, and the only thing that I have left is to declare myself in hunger strike and to demand that I get an Internet connection like the privileged members of the regime have or (…) to leave my life in the pledge.
Us Cubans “have the right to have Internet access in our houses. We have the right to surf the net as every free and civilized man of the world does".
According to “Puente Informativo Cuba-Miami”, Fariñas has carried out several hunger strikes before. The independent journalist was released from prison in December of 2003 with a sickness leave. He had been condemned for reading aloud the Varela Project in a public meeting of the Castro regime.
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