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.