News and Facts about Cuba

Press Freedom Matters

Press Matters


Press freedom matters because without a free press, few other human

rights are attainable.

Press freedom matters because without a free press, few other human

rights are attainable. A strong press freedom environment encourages

the growth of civil society, which leads to stable democracies and

political and economic development. That's why the United States is

highlighting journalists around the world who are suffering

intimidation, imprisonment, and sometimes death for exercising their

right to free .

Yoani Sanchez is a Cuban who is not permitted to leave the

country. She has attracted an international following for her ,

Generación Y, which gives readers unprecedented insight into the harsh

realities of life in Cuba. Her work has won numerous awards, including

Columbia 's Maria Cabot prize for journalism, and the

Secretary of State's International Women of Courage Award in 2011. But

Cuba's Communist government has refused to allow her to leave the

country to accept these honors. Requests by Ms. Sanchez to have

been denied 19 times.

is a fundamental human right recognized in the

Universal Declaration of . The United States urges the

Cuban government to allow Ms. Sanchez to travel abroad freely and for

all governments to stop the use of travel bans against journalists or

dissidents for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

Elsewhere, Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen has been silenced by the

Chinese government. Wangchen was detained by Chinese authorities in

March 2008 on charges related to his 25-minute documentary titled

"Leaving Fear Behind." The film is based on 40 hours of footage and

over 100 interviews conducted over five months. Filmed in 's Amdo

region (located principally in Qinghai Province), the footage includes

interviews with Tibetans who expressed views on a range of issues from

the Dalai Lama to the human rights situation in Tibetan areas of China.

Wangchen was reportedly beaten, deprived of and sleep during

interrogations, and held incommunicado for a full year. He was tried in

secret in 2009 and is serving a six year sentence in Xichuan ,

Qinghai Province.

The United States urges the Chinese government to respect the universal

human rights of all Chinese citizens.

Press freedom is a fundamental human right that must be respected by all

governments. The United States will continue to shine the spotlight of

international attention on all those who abuse this basic human right.–149575695.html

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