Yoani Sánchez, a Cuban dissident blogger, was arrested last night on her way to cover the trial of Spanish politician, Angel Carromero, who is being tried for involuntary manslaughter for the deaths of prominent oppositionists, Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero.
According to the pro-government blog, Yohandry.com, Sánchez was detained because she intended to provoke a “media circus” and “interfere with the judicial process.”
Sanchez’s family member, Elizardo Sánchez, told CNN En Espanol that Sánchez, her husband, Reinaldo Escobar, and another independent blogger, Agustin Díaz, were arrested in the eastern Cuban city of Bayamo.
Another close friend of her, Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo tweeted, “Yoani Sanchez’s phone was cut off, which is why she couldn’t report her arrest.”
Cuban officials declined to comment on reports of her arrest.
Pardo Lazo told El Pais Sánchez’s son confirmed her arrest.
According to Global Voices, Sánchez has been detained before but only for a few hours and was able to communicate with friends and family through texting.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has called for the immediate release of the Cuban bloggers.
“The arrest of these journalists clearly indicates that the Cuban government continues its practice of punishing independent reporting,” Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s Americas senior program coordinator, said in a statement.
“Cuban authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Sánchez, Escobar and Díaz and allow all Cuban reporters to report without fear of intimidation.”