The artist said: “A nation doesn’t exist unless the rights of its citizens are respected”

Tania Bruguera. Source:

Performance artist Tania Bruguera has filed a defamation lawsuit against the Cuban government after state media published information that harmed her honour and dignity. It is the first lawsuit of this kind in Cuba, Artnet reports.

Bruguera has been detained and arrested several times for her work as an artist and activism. During her latest detention, she spent three days in custody for a peaceful protest against Decree 349 that restricts freedom of expression in the country. Other protesting artists and activists were detained along with her.

It’s worth noting that the most radical and controversial parts were removed from the law following protests, but some of them still remain. For example, the state can close cultural events in extreme cases of obscenity, racism or sexism. However, the term “extreme” was not defined.

Artnet published an extract from the artist’s emailed statement: “Tired of suffering defamations in state media publications such as Gramma newspaper and Razones de Cuba, as well as official websites from the Ministry of Culture such as La Jiribilla, I have decided to legally act against parties who have damaged myself and my family, psychologically, socially, and professionally.”

The artist notes hat the use of defamation by the government gains popularity as a tool to intimidate high-profile people, including artists and journalists. It is often accompanied with legal cases and prison terms.

Bruguera says she does not claim any financial compensation. Instead, she wants “a public retraction of such defamation in the same newspapers where they originally appeared, and in the case of online sites, a note on the original articles” correcting the content. The Cuban authorities have 30 days to respond to the suit.

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