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December 2012

Issue #468

IAPA e-NEWS letter

IMAGES OF SÃO PAULO

Above, outgoing president Milton Coleman. To the right, the news IAPA president, Jaime Mantilla, Hoy, Quito, Ecuador, during his acceptance speech on the last day of the Assembly. Mantilla was unable to travel to São Paulo but was present through a Skype connection.

Above, at left, Mexican author Carlos Castañeda during his speech in São Paulo. Below, former Peruvian president Alan García and to his right, for Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso during a panel discussion that had a large attendance.

Those attending one of the 68th General Assembly sessions.

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Call to free Cuban journalist fasting in prison The IAPA on December 7 repeated its demand for the immediate release of Cuban journalist Calixto Martínez Arias, in prison since September and on hunger strike for nearly a month in protest at the deplorable conditions that he is suffering. Martínez Arias, correspondent of the Hablemos Calixto Martínez Arias Press Independent Information Center, was arrested on September 16 after revealing the loss of a consignment of medicines and medical equipment donated by the World Health Organization (WHO) that had become damaged due to negligence and deficient warehouse conditions and for reporting on a cholera epidemic and numerous cases of dengue recorded this year in Cuba. In a video (http://www.youtube. com/watch?feature=player_ embedded&v=h0Nj4aZroc) disseminated on December 4 by Hablemos Press his colleagues read a press release in which they confirmed that Martínez Arias was continuing on hunger strike in Havana’s Combinado del Este prison. According to this group he was understood to have told his sister on November 30 that he would continue with his protest, begun on November 10. The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, declared, “Despite the fact that the Cuban government has a tendency to ignore local and international complaints about its deplorable practices regarding human rights, we cannot remain silent in the face of the constant abuses of the most elemental democratic principles.” Paolillo demanded “the immediate release from prison” of Martínez Arias and made the authorities responsible for his state of health.n

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