Interrogations, beatings and ill-treatment: journalist Camila Acosta recounts the details of her days in prison in Cuba
Cuban journalist Camila Acosta She was placed under house arrest after being detained for four days. And in the newspaper ABC from Spain, where he works as a correspondent, testified about what he saw and experienced behind bars.
âFrom this Wednesday they were around two daily interrogations, over an hour. They asked me about my profession, my family, the demonstration I attended. I admitted that I went there and that I recorded, and I did a live for CubaNetÂ», He counted.
Acosta was arrested last Monday by Cuban agents as she left her home in Havana, from where they took work equipment like her computer. They imputed hypotheses crimes against state security, an accusation often used in Cuba against dissidents, according to ABC.
“God put me here to tell what’s going on”said the correspondent. And he delved into the details. âThey tried to underestimate me by saying that I was not important, that I was not a journalist, that practiced the profession illegally, who did not have a contract with ABC Yes CubaNet, and that even these media had denied that I worked with them. This ABC had said that it did not have a correspondent in Havana, âhe said.
On Sunday July 11, a day before his arrest, Acosta covered the biggest dissident protests in decades in this Caribbean country. Authorities charged the journalist with contempt and public disorder. They accuse her – the case is still open – of being the instigator of the protests.
“I’m not new to this interrogation thing. I know I have to interpret the opposite of everything they say. Also they pressured me to accept and sign pledging me to pay the fine, which I didn’t, and that’s why they put me under house arrest. Something I also refused to sign. The only thing I signed was the certificate of my releaseÂ», He clarified.
Acosta said that during his four days behind bars witness to beatings and ill-treatment against other inmates. “There was a mother with her two daughters those who were arrested on the day of the demonstration, and they were severely beatenÂ», He revealed.
âAmong the detainees, there were other women who had approached the site of the demonstrations out of curiosity and had been arrested, and their families did not know where they were, âhe said. And he continued: “He was also there a pregnant woman, who sought medical treatment but was refused. They gave it to him when they put it in my cell â.
“There are a lot of people detained and their families don’t know where they are”
Acosta, born in Cuba, defines herself as a freelance journalist. He generally has critical positions against the government of Miguel Diaz Canel He also works for the CubaNet portal, one of the main opposition media.
His arrest had a strong impact in Spain, where even the president Pedro Sanchez he asked for his release. âI will continue to practice my profession. I won’t stop reporting. We must continue to denounce because many people are still detained and their families do not know their whereabouts. I wanted to be imprisoned because it was a unique opportunity to find out what was going on inside, all the stories. But I knew, when they tried to make a pact with me, that the pressure outside was very strong, âhe said.
During the protests last Sunday, there were clashes and hundreds of people were arrested, including activists, opponents and independent journalists, according to international organizations.
Some of those arrested have been released, while others remain in police stations and prisons across the country. However, the government has so far not provided details of the arrests.
Independent Cuban journalists have denounced an increase in harassment by authorities over the past year, with actions such as house arrest, summons by police, confiscation of work tools or access restrictions to the Internet.
Protests in Cuba have left at least one dead and more than 150 arrested, according to organization Human Rights Watch (HRW).