Director-General welcomes release from jail of UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize laureate Raul RiveroUNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura today welcomed the release from prison of Cuban journalist Raúl Rivero Castañeda after 18 months in detention.
“It is with a great joy that I learned of the release of Raúl Rivero Castañeda. Many people around the world are delighted with this news. My thoughts go immediately to his wife Blanca Reyes, his family and friends.I hope that Mr Rivero will soon recover his good health so that he may fully enjoy his new-found freedom» said the Director-General.
“I applaud the decision of the Government of Cuba to release the Laureate of the 2004 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. This is a sign of hope for all imprisoned journalists throughout the world,” the Director-General added.
“I look forward to rewarding him in person with the prize UNESCO gave him in absentia earlier this year,” Mr Matsuura concluded.
Born in 1945, Mr Rivero is a prominent journalist and poet. He was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in April 2003 alongside 25 other journalists who were handed jail terms of 14 to 27 years. Mr Rivero has been reported to be suffering from circulatory problems and concern had been expressed about his health.