Police Accuse Journalist Henry Constantin Of “Usurpation Of Legal
Capacity” / 14ymedio
14ymedio, Havana, 17 March 2017 – Journalist Henry Constantin, director
of La Hora de Cuba (Cuba Hour) magazine and regional vice president of
the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), was formally charged Friday
with the crime of “usurpation of legal capacity,” he told 14ymedio.
Constantin received a subpoena for the third Police Station in the city
of Camagüey where First Lieutenant Pacheco Seagnamillo informed him that
he was accused of conducting interviews on the public right-of-way in
which he “misrepresented reality.”
The police did not mention the names of potential complainants, but
emphasized that he was not “empowered” to perform a reporter’s job.
The journalist could be prosecuted for violating Article 149 of the
Penal Code which punishes whomever “performs acts of a profession for
the exercise of which he is not properly qualified.” The sentence
contemplates the “deprivation of liberty from three months to a year or
a fine of 100 to 300 shares* or both.” The official told him that the
independent journalist Sol García Basulto, correspondent of this
newspaper, will also be prosecuted for the same crime.
In the next 60 days, Constantin will be subject to a precautionary
measure yet to be detailed but at the moment he cannot leave the
city. The reporter will not be able to attend an exhibition in Los
Angeles, about the current situation of journalists on the island, nor
the subsequent meeting of the IAPA in Guatemala.
Constantín was named last December as IAPA’s regional vice president for
Cuba and pledged to spread “the reality of journalism” on the
island. The organization has issued several press releases condemning
the harassment and arrests of those who have been victims of attacks in
recent weeks. It has urged the Cuban government to guarantee freedom of
the press and expression throughout the country.
*Translator’s note: Cuban law sets fines based on “shares”; the value of
a share is set separately and in this way can be changed, over time,
without having to amend all of the laws that reference fines as a penalty.
Source: Police Accuse Journalist Henry Constantin Of “Usurpation Of
Legal Capacity” / 14ymedio – Translating Cuba –
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