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Amnesty International Media Statement
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Amnesty International Reacts to Release of Activists in

Contact: AIUSA media relations office, 202-509-8194

(Washington, D.C.) In response to news that the Cuban authorities will
release the last remaining activists from the group of 75 detained in
March 2003, Amnesty International's expert on Cuba, Gerardo Ducos, said:

“It is a step in the right direction for in Cuba to see the
release of all prisoners of conscience from the March 2003 crackdown and
an activist detained last December, particularly considering they should
have never been imprisoned in the first place.

“What we want to see now is for the Cuban authorities not to force
activists into as a condition for their release and to ensure all
human rights activists are able to carry out their legitimate work
without fear of threats, harassment, further arrests or unfair trials in
their own country.”

Background Information

Seventy-five people were jailed in a massive crackdown against the
movement around 18 March 2003 for the peaceful exercise of
their right to of expression.

Most of them were charged with crimes including “acts against the
independence of the state” because they allegedly received funds and/or
materials from US-based NGOs financed by the US government.

They were sentenced to between six and 28 years in after speedy
and unfair trials for engaging in activities the authorities perceived
as subversive and damaging to Cuba.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGUSA20110323002&lang=e

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