Monday, March 08, 2004

Political Prisoners in Cuba

Journalists and activists still awaiting trial after two years in prison

NUEVA GERONA, March 4 (Carlos Serpa Maceira, UPECI / - Six activists and two independent journalists are still in prison awaiting trial two years after staging a public, peaceful protest to protest the beating of another journalist.

The eight are all accused of public disorder, disobedience, and resistance, and the prosecutor in the case, Iliana Fajardo, is asking for prison terms of between two and seven years for the men.

On March 4, 2002, the eight held a peaceful protest in front of the Antonio Luaces hospital in Ciego de Ávila, where another independent journalist, Jesús Álvarez, had been taken after a beating by Interior Ministry officers. The eight were beaten up themselves and arrested at that time.

Amnesty International and Reporters without Borders have petitioned the Cuban government to release the men.


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