MIAMI, FL — Office of Cuba Broadcasting Director, Sylvia Rosabal, condemned in the strongest terms the recent detention of Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, host of Lawton Libre, a weekly radio program airing on Radio Martí that covers current events and human rights issues around the world and in Cuba.
“This action by Cuban officials is clearly a warning to anyone who dares to freely express their ideas and concerns about the rights of every person,” said Rosabal. “The people of Cuba have a right to know about human rights issues on the island, and we stand with Dr. Biscet and his commitment to democracy”
Dr. Biscet was arrested not far from his home in Havana on the morning of January 9 and held without cause or explanation. His wife reported that she did not know his whereabouts until he was eventually released. Later that evening, Dr. Biscet appeared on Radio Martí’s 5 p.m. newscast and gave details of his detention.
Dr. Biscet has been imprisoned on several occasions and spent nearly a decade behind bars after being sentenced to 25 years in prison. Amnesty International declared Dr. Biscet a prisoner of conscience in 2003; he was released in 2011 due to international pressure.
Despite attempts from Cuban authorities to force him out, he has refused to leave the island and has worked to expand the Emilia Project, a grassroots campaign to educate Cubans about human rights, non-violent civil disobedience, and topics associated with freedom and democracy. January 9 marked the 10th anniversary of the founding of this project.
Dr. Biscet is the recipient of OCB most recent David Burke Award for excellence in journalism, and in 2007 was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Office of Cuba Broadcasting oversees Radio and Television Martí at its headquarters in Miami, Florida. The Martís are a multimedia hub of news, information and analysis that provide the people of Cuba with interactive programs seven days a week through satellite television and shortwave and AM radio, as well as through flash drives, emails, DVDs, and SMS text. Combined with the online platform, martinoticias.com, the Martís are a one-of-a-kind service that brings unbiased, objective information to all Cubans.