Cuba: Ongoing repercussions of the crackdown
In mid-March 2003 Cuban authorities carried out an unprecedented clampdown on the dissident movement on the island. Over the space of a few days, security forces rounded up over 75 dissidents in targeted sweeps. With the exception of half a dozen well-known figures critical of the regime, most mid-level leaders of the dissident movement were detained. They were subjected to hasty and unfair trials, and, just weeks after their arrest, were given long prison terms of up to 28 years. Amnesty International once again is urging the Cuban authorities "to immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience, imprisoned solely for having peacefully exercised their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. and " to ensure that, pending their release, the 75 prisoners of conscience arrested in March have access to appropriate medical care and that their conditions of detention meet international standards.