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Harassment, intimidation and arrest of dissidents continues
Posted: 16 March 2011

Authorities in Cuba are continuing to stifle of expression in
spite of the much-publicised recent wave of releases of prominent
dissidents, reported Amnesty International today on the eighth
anniversary of a crackdown on activists.

Hundreds of pro-democracy activists have suffered harassment,
intimidation and arbitrary arrest in recent weeks as the Cuban
government employs new tactics to stamp out dissent.

Of 75 activists arrested in a crackdown around 18 March 2003, only three
remain in jail after 50 releases since last June, with most of the freed
activists currently exiled in Spain. Amnesty has called for the
remaining prisoners to be released immediately and unconditionally.

Amnesty International's Cuba Researcher Gerardo Ducos said:

“The release of those detained in the 2003 crackdown is a hugely
positive step but it tells only one side of the story facing Cuban human
rights activists.

“Those living on the island are still being targeted for their work,
especially through short-term detentions, while repressive laws give the
Cuban authorities a free rein to punish anyone who criticises them.

“Meanwhile, three of the prisoners detained eight years ago still
languish in and must be freed immediately.”

In one recent crackdown the authorities detained over one hundred people
in one day in a pre-emptive strike designed to stop activists marking
the death of activist Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who died following a
prolonged hunger strike while in detention.

On 23 February, the one-year anniversary of Tamayo's death, according to
the Cuban Commission of and National Reconciliation, the
authorities placed over 50 people under house arrest before freeing them
hours later.

Activist N

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