NEWS ALERT: Cuban Regime Targets Independent Journalists Lázaro Yuri Valle Roca & Eralidis Frómeta Planco
On June 16, independent journalist and human rights activist Lázaro Yuri Valle Roca appeared at the Zapata y C police station in Havana after receiving a summons two days prior. Valle Roca was presumably asked to appear by the National Revolutionary Police to close a case opened against him in 2020, for the crime of contempt (“desacato”).
When Valle Roca and his wife, Eralidis Frómeta Planco, arrived at the station, it was apparent that the summons was merely a ruse to lure Valle Roca to the prison to detain him. When her husband was taken into custody at the station, Frómeta was handcuffed and beaten by police when she refused to turn over her husband’s cellphone, which he had handed to her moments earlier to avoid confiscation while in custody.
The next morning, on June 17, the couple’s home in Havana was raided by Cuban State Security who seized documents about Cuban founding father Jose Marti and other written materials. Later that day, Frómeta was arrested, beaten, and taken to the Aguilera police Unit in Havana. After interrogations she was released and fined 150 pesos.
Earlier this week, on June 22, Frómeta drove to the Military Prosecutor’s Office to deliver an appeal for her husband. While en route, she was intercepted by police and forced to follow them back to the station. She was once again arrested, charged with Public Disorder, and detained for over 6 hours.
Video coverage, seen below, was recorded by a friend that accompanied Frómeta to the station on June 22.
Valle Roca is currently being held by political police in Villa Marista as an “investigation” is conducted by authorities. His wife has been unable to communicate with him since he was taken into custody, and fears he is being subjected to physical abuse or torture. He had promised to conduct a hunger strike immediately upon arrest.
Over the last year or so, the Cuban regime has increased its crackdown on independent journalism and free press in Cuba. The Global Liberty Alliance strongly condemns this systemic attack on fundamental rights on the island and will continue to support victims whose rights are violated.