Castro Government Jails Two Cuban Journalists

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:08 PM EDT

( - Two journalists working for the independent news agency "Havana-Press" are being held in Havana on charges of "illegal trafficking in people."

Raul Rivero, director of Cuba-Press, another independent news agency,told reporters in Havana that brothers Jesus and Jadir Hernandez are being held at the Technical Department of Investigation in Havana.

Rivero said the charge "implies the act of, or complicity in, smuggling people out of Cuba."

Jesus, a lawyer and Jadir, an engineer, were arrested in the Cuban city of Guines as they prepared to travel to Havana.

"The charges are absurd and appear intended to keep them out of circulation, in view of the fine journalistic work they have been performing," Rivero said.

Rivero said for the past several weeks, the Hernandez brothers have talked about uniting several dissident groups within Cuba's Havana province.

"That's something that bothers the authorities. Nothing that's related to the unification or integration of opposition groups is tolerated," Rivero said.

The Castro government had no comment.

Last month, Cuban authorities arrested three Swedish journalists on charges of meeting with Cuban dissidents. The arrests triggered a protest from the group "Reporters Without Borders." The journalists were later released and allow to fly back to Stockholm.

Reporters Without Borders has Cuban Leader Fidel Castro on its list of the "10 worst enemies of the press."