This document describes AI’s concerns about the increasingly strong measures being taken by the Cuban authorities to stifle political dissent. In the past two years, the number of political prisoners has risen dramatically: at present there are believed to be some 300 to 500 prisoners of conscience or probable prisoners of conscience. They include members of unofficial political groups, human rights groups, religious groups and trade unions. The charges most frequently brought are enemy propaganda, illegal association and rebellion. Government opponents are frequently harassed by civilian “Rapid Response Brigades”, who participate in “acts of repudiation”; these involve large gangs of people “confronting” suspected dissidents, some of whom are later arrested.
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