Cuba and its Decree Law 370: annihilating freedom of expression on the Internet

first_img AmericasCuba Online freedoms InternetFreedom of expression News May 6, 2020 Cuba and its Decree Law 370: annihilating freedom of expression on the Internet News Organisation News Follow the news on Cuba News AmericasCuba Online freedoms InternetFreedom of expression December 2, 2016 Find out more New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council RSF and Fundamedios welcome US asylum ruling in favor of Cuban journalist Serafin Moran Santiagocenter_img to go further October 15, 2020 Find out more Source: RTVE RSF_en Although repression of freedom of expression and freedom of press has been long-standing and systematic, the current wave of repression has been intensified by the application of Legal Decree 370 “ON THE COMPUTERIZATION OF CUBAN SOCIETY,” in force since July 4, 2019. At least 30 people have been subjected to interrogation, threats, and seizure of work equipment (especially that of journalists) for broadcasting their opinions on social media,  20 have been victims of 3,000-peso fines (120 US dollars), an amount triple the average monthly salary. Failure to pay these fines constitutes a crime punishable by six months in prison, a systematic approach that has enabled the Cuban State to sentence 7 civil society actors who are currently in prison. We are particularly troubled by the arbitrary citations and detentions occurring during this pandemic, as they also contradict the recommendations of the World Health Organization to promote social distancing.These facts demonstrate that the rights enshrined in the Cuban Constitution, but which have not been ratified with supplementary legislation, are merely empty words. Regarding freedom of expression, Article 54 of the Constitution states: “The State recognizes, upholds, and guarantees individuals’ freedom of thought, belief and expression,” and Article 55 asserts that “freedom of press” is a right that “is exercised in accordance with the law and to the good of society.” Additionally, this article establishes that “The principal means of social communication, in any of its forms and on any of its mediums, are the socialist property of the people or the political, social and grassroots organizations; and they are not subject to any other type of ownership. The State establishes the principles of organization and operation for all social media.”We understand that these constitutional principles are highly contradictory. Initially, they recognize the freedoms of expression and press, and immediately thereafter, they restrict their exercise. In accordance with the Constitution, Legal Decree 370, specifically Article 68, Subsection i), vaguely establishes as a violation the act of “spreading information contrary to the common good, morals, decency, and integrity through public data transmission networks.” This clause contravenes the standards of freedom of expression and restricts this right based on objectives that are illegitimate according to the International Declaration of Human Rights.The new Cuban Constitution, Legal Decree 370, and the actions of the Cuban State deeply contradict Article 19 of the International Declaration of Human Rights and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), signed by Cuba on February 28, 2008 but not since ratified. This framework, under which the Cuban State can sanction the use of information and communication technologies, inhibits the exercise of freedom of expression using such tools and platforms. Furthermore, it represents a real and ongoing threat of punishment for practically any opinion expressed that could be classified, at the State’s discretion, as a legal violation and lead to imprisonment. Additionally, this lack of predictability has a prohibitive and intimidating effect on the collective dimension of freedom of expression and assembly.We want to emphasize that Reporters Without Borders has listed Cuba as the country with the least press freedom in the Americas, placing it in 171st place and among the bottom ten in the global ranking in its last annual report. According to Freedom House, Cuba is the country with the least freedom on the net in the Americas and the fourth worst in the world, among the 65 countries monitored [1]. According to the CIVICUS Monitor, which tracks the freedoms of association, expression and peaceful assembly, its civic space is rated as “closed”.In 2019, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression expressed his concern about the diverse mechanisms of repression in Cuba [2]. In his 2019 report, the Inter-American Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression outlined the systematic persecution of independent journalists who publish information and opinions on topics of public interest and in his statement on April 18, 2020, he expressed his concern with restrictions on freedom of expression and access to information in the State’s response to COVID-19, highlighting the cases of journalists fined under Legal Decree 370.We call on the international community, governments, civil society and international human rights organizations to press the Cuban government to cease this persecution and harassment of independent Cuban journalists and their families immediately, to return their confiscated belongings, and to allow them the full and free exercise of their freedoms, thereby granting the Cuban citizenry free access to information.To the European External Action Service (EEAS), we urge you to follow the stances and explicit mandate [3] of your Parliament regarding the Agreement of Political Dialogue and Cooperation with Cuba, requesting that legal reforms be made to guarantee the freedoms of press, association and demonstration. We also incite you to actively support the civil society groups and individuals defending human rights in Cuba.To the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner, we petition you to make a public declaration recommending that the Cuban State revise its legislation and abolish any norms that restrict freedom of opinion and expression.We appeal to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), to take a stand and apply the same standards as required for all of the countries in the region, based on the reports of the IACHR on the human rights situation in Cuba. Cuba is a member state of the OAS and has not denounced the Charter. It assumed an obligation when it signed the Inter-American system’s instruments on human rights, and its current suspension does not release it from complying this obligation.We reiterate our full solidarity with the independent journalists and civil society actors persecuted for exercising their freedom of expression. [1] Freedom on the Net, 2019, Freedom House.[2] Comunicaciones AL CUB 1/2019, OL CUB 2/2019, AL CUB 5/2019, AL CUB 7/2019[3] Resolución “Cuba, en particular el caso de José Daniel Ferrer” P9_TA(2019)0073 del 28 de Noviembre del 2019 Fidel Castro’s heritage: flagrant media freedom violations Receive email alerts The undersigned civil society organizations express our profound concern and condemnation of the persecution against independent journalists and civil society actors in Cuba. This persecution has increased since the beginning of the year, particularly during the health crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. October 12, 2018 Find out more Help by sharing this information last_img read more

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Community Lending Group Asks Government To Amend GSE Bailout Terms

first_imgSign up for DS News Daily in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Subscribe Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago About Author: Tory Barringer Tagged with: CMLA Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac GSE Profits Treasury Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago CMLA Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac GSE Profits Treasury 2014-12-16 Tory Barringer Share Save December 16, 2014 956 Views Related Articles Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agocenter_img Previous: LenderLive Gets New Majority Investor Next: Report: Mortgage Loan Delinquencies, Write-Offs Way Down Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Community Lending Group Asks Government To Amend GSE Bailout Terms The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington’s student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News’ sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago  Print This Post The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Community Lending Group Asks Government To Amend GSE Bailout Terms As Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to generate profits in a recovering housing market, a group of community lenders has joined the chorus of advocates calling for the government to revisit the terms of its bailout agreement with the two mortgage giants.In a recent letter addressed to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the Community Mortgage Lenders of America (CMLA) urged the government to “take immediate action to cure the under-capitalization” of the GSEs by re-amending the payment terms established when they were forced to take a bailout after the crash.Per the terms of their preferred stock purchase agreements, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are required to turn the majority of their profits over to Treasury. As of the end of this year, the companies will have paid a combined $225.5 billion, tens of billions of dollars more than the amount they drew to avoid going under.In a statement, CMLA Chair Paulina McGrath said that steps taken to ensure the GSEs’ profitability—including driving up guaranty fees—are pointless if those steps aren’t contributing to their capital.”Making mortgage money more expensive is simply locking many borrowers out of the market and serves no benefit to the GSEs,” McGrath said. “Renegotiating the [agreement] now is a common sense approach to ensuring the safety and soundness of the GSEs.”As an alternative, CMLA also recommended lowering guaranty fees to remove the “unnecessary tax” the group says is keeping low- and moderate-income borrowers out of the mortgage market.”Mortgage bankers have now joined the Civil Rights groups and community banks in asking for this important, common-sense change,” McGrath said.In addition to some housing groups, investors in the GSEs have been vocal in the last year about the amended payment agreement, which they say created a windfall for the government at the expense of shareholders who are entitled to the companies’ profits.Some of the biggest GSE investors, including Fairholme Funds, Perry Capital, and the largest non-government shareholder, Pershing Square, have taken their complaints to court. While the Perry Capital and Fairholme suits have been dismissed, both have appealed the ruling.last_img read more

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Fugitive Djoko Tjandra returns, files case review without AGO’s knowledge

first_imgThe AGO has been hunting for Djoko for years – but to no avail. Burhanuddin said he had previously received information that Djoko had been spotted in Malaysia and Singapore.Burhanuddin said he had instructed his officers to immediately arrest Djoko as he was expecting him to come to the hearing on Monday. “We’ve been looking for him for three days, but we haven’t found him yet.”Read also: President weighs in on Djoko Tjandra sagaDjoko was involved in the Bank Bali scandal, which saw hundreds of billions of rupiah embezzled from state bailout funds for the 1998 Asian financial crisis. He was acquitted in 2000 but later convicted in 2009 after the AGO filed a request for review.The Supreme Court convicted both Djoko and former Bank Indonesia governor Syahril Sabirin and sentenced them to two years’ imprisonment each for misusing Bank Indonesia Liquidity Support (BLBI) funds in the case. The court ordered Djoko to pay Rp 546 billion (US$54 million) in restitution to the state for illegally disbursing the funds to the bank in 1999.Djoko, however, fled Indonesia on a chartered flight from Halim Perdanakusumah Airport in Jakarta to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea (PNG) on June 10, 2009, just a day before the Supreme Court issued its verdict on the AGO’s request for review.Then-PNG Ambassador to Indonesia Peter Ilau confirmed on July 12, 2009, that Djoko had obtained PNG citizenship.The AGO suspected that Djoko had falsified legal documents when applying for PNG citizenship, as Djoko was a fugitive and would have concealed information during his application process.Indonesia has no extradition treaty with PNG.South Jakarta District Court spokesperson Suharno confirmed to kompas.com that Djoko had not attended the hearing on Monday. He had reportedly claimed to be sick.Topics : Burhanuddin said the office had not received any information about Djoko’s arrival in the country before learning that he had come to the South Jakarta District Court on June 8 to file his case review.He said Djoko had reportedly been in Indonesia for the past three months.”Honestly, this is a result our intelligence weaknesses. That’s the fact. I asked the court, and they said [the case review] was filed through an integrated service that had no identity control,” he said in the hearing.He said the AGO would discuss the issue with the Immigration Office to establish the details of the graft convict’s arrival in Indonesia. Burhanuddin believed that Djoko should not have been able to enter the country freely because of his status as a fugitive. Djoko Soegiarto Tjandra, a fugitive in the high-profile Bank Bali corruption case, returned to the country and filed a case review against his conviction with the South Jakarta District Court in early June, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has said.The graft convict was scheduled to attend his own case review submission hearing at the court on Monday, Attorney General ST Burhanuddin said. Djoko did not appear.Burhanuddin told members of House of Representatives Commission III overseeing legal affairs in a hearing on Monday that the AGO was tracking down the fugitive.last_img read more

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