Journalist Jailed For Speaking Out About Cuban George Floyd

Story By: Lisa-Maria Goertz, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash

Newsflash/Jorge Enrique Rodriguez

A journalist covering the story of the ‘Cuban George Floyd’ – a black man killed by police in Cuba – has been jailed for unknown reasons according to his family.

The independent reporter, named as Jorge Enrique Rodriguez, was taken from his home in the Cuban capital Havana and is being detained while awaiting trial, although his family say they have no idea on what grounds.

According to local media, it is believed that Rodriguez has been apprehended for publishing information on the protests against the death of black man Hansel Hernandez at the hands of the police on 24th June.

The Cuban journalist works as a correspondent for various national and international news outlets.

His brother Leonel Rodriguez told local media that he has been unable to visit his brother during his detention and that they had heard various versions about why he had been arrested.

Leonel said: “They haven’t told us anything, but there are various theories, one is contempt of authority, the other is to promote an event (the protest) for the death of the young man who died at the hands of police.”

“Everything indicates that this time it was due to the wide coverage of the Hansel Hernandez case.”

Newsflash/Jorge Enrique Rodriguez

According to his brother, Rodriguez, who was detained in March last year for 24 hours for taking photos, will stand trial on 7th July and if he is convicted of contempt of authority he could receive “a fine or two years in jail.”

Hansel Hernandez, 27, has been termed the ‘Cuban George Floyd’by local media after he was shot and killed by the police while unarmed.

According to a statement by the Cuban Interior Ministry on social media, Hernandez was caught stealing parts at a bus stop when cops gave chase.

The statement says: “To avoid being arrested, the individual attacked a policeman with several stones, one of which hit him in the crotch, another one on the side of the torso and a third dislocated his shoulder when he hit the ground.”

“Other officers fired two warning shots. Immediately afterwards, the policeman on the ground fired a shot, hitting the individual and causing him to die.

However, the case has caused outrage in Cuba and the public have held nationwide protests to demand justice.

According to local media, various journalists have been detained so they cannot cover the protests.

Another reporter Abraham Jimenez Enoa, wrote on his social media account: “I am under house arrest. Several State Security agents and a patrol car with four officers are stationed outside my house to prevent me from going to cover the protest march for the death of Hansel Hernandez. The Cuban government is abusive and racist. “

The Cuban government is yet to comment on the journalists’ arrests.