July 6, 2010, 2:32 p.m.
Despite minor reforms in the past few years, Cubans still do not enjoy freedom of expression. The government holds a monopoly on media and uses coercion to prevent what it considers harmful speech. In its most recent report, Restrictions on Freedom of Expression in Cuba, Amnesty International explores Cuba’s repressive legal system, which subjects Cubans to arbitrary arrests and harassment by the authorities.
From the report:
The principle that no one should be imprisoned for the peaceful expression of their opinions
is one of the most widely accepted norms of international human rights law. Yet over the
years, hundreds of prisoners of conscience have been imprisoned in Cuba for the peaceful
expression of their views. Some were imprisoned following large-scale crackdowns on political
dissent; others were individually targeted. At the time of writing, 54 prisoners of conscience
continued to be held by the Cuban authorities for peacefully exercising their right to freedom
of expression. Harassment, intimidation, arbitrary detention and criminal prosecutions, all
continue to be used to restrict the expression of views critical of the government. Those
targeted are dissidents and critics, in many cases independent journalists and political and
human rights activists.