US urges Cuba to drop criminal charges against journalist

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is calling on Cuba to drop criminal charges against a journalist facing a year in jail following his arrest earlier this year.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Wednesday that the U.S. “strongly condemns” the prosecution of Roberto Quiñones. Pompeo said the detention and trial of Quiñones showed “flagrant disregard for legal norms.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists has said Quiñones was covering a trial in Guantanamo for the website CubaNet when he was detained in April. The group says he was charged with resistance and disobedience and ordered to pay a fine. When he refused, he was ordered to serve a year in jail. He is awaiting the results of an appeal of the sentence.

The Cuban government had no immediate comment.

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