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Dissident journalist freed pending trial on charges of insulting and attacking police officers

(RSF/IFEX) - After three weeks in detention, independent journalist Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias was released conditionally from Havana's Valle Grande prison on 14 May 2010 pending trial on a charge of aggravated assault against a police officer.

Martínez, who works for Hablemos Press, was arrested on 23 April while covering an activity commemorating the death of imprisoned dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo. Initially charged with "insulting behaviour," he subsequently found himself being charged with physically attacking the arresting officers, although witnesses deny that such an attack took place.

Martínez's release comes just days after that of another opposition journalist, Dania Virgen Garcia. These releases should not, however, divert attention from the fact that Cuba's independent media are still ruthlessly suppressed and 24 journalists, including RSF's correspondent, Ricardo González Alfonso, are still in prison.

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