CPJ: 'Hope that Cuban journalists ordeal will end'
Three independent Cuban journalists - José Luis García Paneque, Pablo Pacheco Ávila, and Lester Luis González Pentón - imprisoned during the 2003 crackdown against the political opposition and the press, are among the five dissidents to be released soon, according to news reports. They will be sent to Spain as part of an agreement between the government of President Raúl Castro and the Catholic Church, the reports say. “We’re anxiously awaiting the release of our colleagues and we’re following the developments closely day to day,” said Carlos Lauría, the Committee to Protect Journalists' senior program coordinator for the Americas. “These journalists and their families have suffered terribly. We’re hoping to finally see an end to their ordeal.” In a statement on Wednesday, Cuba’s Roman Catholic Church said Castro had agreed to promptly release five political prisoners, who will leave for Spain with their families. The church’s statement said that 47 other dissidents will be freed over a three- to four-month period.
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