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Independent Cuban Journo Gets Six Years for 'Theft' of Fidel-Signed Hanky

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Independent Cuban Journo Gets Six Years for 'Theft' of Fidel-Signed Hanky

Article excerpt

An independent Cuban journalist who last August was released after spending a year in jail on what international press-freedom observer say were trumped-up charges has again received a stiff sentence -- for the alleged "illicit appropriation" of a handkerchief autographed by ailing maximum leader Fidel Castro.

Albert Santiago du Bouchet Hernandez, a reporter for the Havana Press news agency, was convicted Aug. 15 in a Havana municipal court to two years in prison, plus another two years of labor in a prison environment followed by two years of court supervision for the alleged theft. Du Bouchet's latest harassment was first reported by Alvaro Yero Felipe of the independent Cuban news organization Youths Without Censorship (JSC).

Du Bouchet is accused of taking the handkerchief, autographed in 1957 by Castro, from Maria Encarnacion Gonzalez Guerra, a former leader in the underground July 26 Movement that fought in the Cuban revolution. Du Bouchet said the woman gave him the handkerchief, and that he believes the police pressured her to testify he stole it. …

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