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Minister Kohout met Guillermo Fariñas

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Jan Kohout met the prominent representative of Cuban opposition and the Sakharov Prize laureate, Guillermo Fariñas.

Mr Fariñas expressed his gratitude to the Czech Government for the sustained support of civil society activities in Cuba. As an independent news agency director, Mr Fariñas has long criticized the regime’s censorship of information and violence used against peaceful opposition activities.

The talks primarily focused on the current state of civil society in Cuba and an impact of recent reforms on Cuban citizens.  "The Czech Republic supports and appreciates work of independent journalists who raise awareness of democratic values and provide true and balanced information on the society conditions. Free media and freedom of expression in a broader sense is an integral part of a truly functioning democratic system.  In their absence, no society can evolve and no government can respond to the real needs of the citizens,“ said the Minister.

Guillermo Fariñas was awarded the Sakharov Prize for human rights by the European Parliament in 2010 in recognition of his courageous fight for freedom of expression and access to uncensored information for all Cubans.

The meeting with Minister Kohout took place on the occassion of Mr Fariñas´ international tour during which he was received, inter alia, by the US president, Barack Obama.

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