Angel Santiesteban Among the 100 Information Heroes of Reporters without
Posted on May 1, 2014
Angel Santiesteban’s struggle is not in vain.
The more the dictatorship tried to silence him by shutting him away in
its miserable concentration camps, his strengths only continued to grow,
so that now he is not alone in being recognized for his excellent
literary work. The dictatorship established him in world history as one
of the umpteen heroes who, like he, set themselves as a model, each
minute, each second, in order to fulfill their sacred duty to defend
liberty and the rights of all.
When an organization of the caliber of Reporters Without Borders, which
doesn’t back down one second in its work of protecting those
people–famous or unknown, be they journalists by profession or not–who
day by day contribute to illuminating the world and giving an account of
reality in all its forms, includes Angel on the list of the “100 Heroes”
who put their ideals “at the service of the common good” and set the
example of courage, then the ruinous intents of all those who tried to
convert him into a delinquent “home invader and woman beater” dissolve
into nothing, from the dictator Raul Castro through his political police
and his “justice,” up to those tiresome colleagues and former “friends,”
members of UNEAC (Cuban Writers and Artists Union), and the rest of the
fauna out there who swarm to put Angel’s reputation on trial.
What an immense honor to be part of that list of “100 Information
Heroes”! How different it is from that list of “the five assassins“!
The writer already had reached international dimension with his
award-winning work; now, thanks to the dictatorship, he has attained
also the status of defender of liberty, democracy and human rights.
From my humble place as the editor of the blog, happy to return to
Angel the voice that they try to stop by imprisoning him, enabling all
his posts and denunciations to be published and spread around the entire
world, I can do no less than thank immensely Reporters Without Borders
for their invaluable support and solidarity that shows every day they
support Angel; and Dictator Raul Castro, since without his intervention,
none of this would have been possible.
Reporters without Borders publishes the list of the “100 Information
Published Tuesday, April 29, 2014.
On the occasion of the World Day of Freedom of the Press 2014, Reporters
Without Borders publishes for the first time a list of “100 information
Gifted with exemplary courage, these “100 heroes” contribute by their
struggle or their work to promoting the freedom, as stated in Article 19
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of “investigating and
receiving information and opinions, and disseminating them without
limitation of borders, by any medium of expression.” The “100 heroes”
put their ideal “at the service of the common good,” and thereby have
set an example of courage.
“World Press Freedom Day–whose creation was promoted by Reporters
Without Borders–should be the occasion to recognize the courage of these
journalists and bloggers who, by their vocation, every day risk their
security and on occasion their lives,” said Christophe Deloire,
Secretary General of Reporters without Borders. “The ’Heroes of
Information’ are a source of inspiration for all the women and men who
aspire to freedom. Without their determination and that of all similar
people, it simply would not be possible to expand the area of freedom,”
The list of Reporters Without Borders–which naturally is not
exhaustive–is a recognition and homage not only to the 100 persons
cited, famous or unknown, but also to all the journalists–be they
journalists by profession or not–who day by day contribute to
illuminating the world and giving an account of reality in all its
forms. This initiative has the object of demonstrating that the struggle
to defend and promote freedom of information gives intense support to
the victims of aggression, but also serves to erect figures who can
serve as models.
The list of the “100 Information Heroes” includes women and men of all
ages (from 25 to 75 years old) and all nationalities (65 countries). The
youngest, Oudom Tat, is Cambodian; the oldest, Muhammed Ziauddin,
Pakistani. Iran, Russia, China, Eritrea, Azerbaijan, Mexico and Vietnam
are represented by at least three heroes for each one. On the list of
the 100 appear such different personalities as Anabel Hernandez, author
of a best-seller about the collusion of Mexican politicians with
organized crime; Ismail Saymaz, a Turkish journalist who has faced some
20 lawsuits for his reporting; Hassan Ruvakuki, imprisoned for 15 months
in Burundi for having reported on rebel movements, and Gerard Ryle,
director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists,
who contributed to the development of global journalistic investigations.
Some journalists perform their work in democratic countries. This is the
case with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, Americans who reveal the
massive surveillance of the American and British intelligence services.
Others exercise their profession in more authoritarian regimes, like the
Iranian journalist Jila Bani Yaghoob. Not all are journalists by
profession. The Vietnamese citizen journalist Le Ngoc Thanh also is a
Catholic priest. Many of them, like the Italian journalist who
specializes in organized crime, Lirio Abbate, has made corruption and
criminality in his country his battle horse. That’s the case of Peter
John Jaban, a radio operator in Malaysia, who during a long period lived
exiled in London; of Serhiy Lechtchenko, a Ukranian investigative
journalist, and of the Bulgarian, Assen Yordanov, who often receive
death threats. Among those portraits, Reporters without Borders also
included activists like Maria Pia Matta, who from the World Association
of Community Radio defended for close to ten years the freedom of
expression for community radio in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Courage is the common denominator of all these personalities. In
Uzbekistan, the authorities didn’t have any doubts about torturing
Muhammad Bekjanov to obtain his confessions; the journalist is detained
for 15 years. He isn’t receiving medical attention despite suffering
from tuberculosis. Eritrea found itself in last place on the World
Classification of Press Freedom 2014 of Reporters without Borders; it’s
the seventh time it occupies this position. In this country, Dawit Isaac
has been in the dungeons of the dictator Isaias Afeworki for 13 years.
Mazen Darwish, founder of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of
Expression, who received the Prize for Press Freedom 2012 (“Journalist
of the Year”) from Reporters without Borders, finds himself imprisoned
for more than two years by the regime of Bachar el-Assad.
Translated by Regina Anavy
29 April 2014
Source: Angel Santiesteban Among the 100 Information Heroes of Reporters
without Borders | Translating Cuba –