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Another journalist freed, flown to Spain

(CPJ/IFEX) - New York, August 20, 2010 - Today Juan Adolfo Fernández Saínz became the 14th imprisoned Cuban journalist released and flown to Spain, following July talks between the Catholic Church and the government of President Raúl Castro.

"I will continue working as a reporter, telling the world about my seven-year-long unjust captivity, and the stories of my brave colleagues who remain in Cuba," Fernández Saínz told CPJ.

The journalist landed today in Madrid around noon with his wife and his brother-in-law, according to international news reports. On arrival, he was driven to a hotel in Mostoles, 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of Madrid, the press reported.

In a phone interview with CPJ, Fernández Saínz said he was happy to have regained his freedom, but wished he'd been given the chance to stay in Cuba. "I accepted that I had to go to Spain because my family, particularly my wife, has been the victim of systematic harassment by the Cuban government lately; we couldn't take this situation any longer," he said.

Fernández Saínz, formerly a correspondent for the independent news agency Patria, was jailed during the massive March 2003 government crackdown on political dissent and independent journalism known as the Black Spring. Six journalists arrested during the 2003 crackdown remain in prison, as does one other journalist who was detained later, CPJ research shows.

After negotiations with Cuba's Catholic Church, Castro agreed in July to free a total of 52 dissidents arrested in the 2003 crackdown.
Click here to read more about Rodríguez Saínz from CPJ's 2009 census of jailed journalists
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