giovedì, ottobre 15, 2009

The Prague List of 307 Cuban political prisoners - at uncommon sense

At the Forum 2000 Conference on "Democracy and Freedom in a Multipolar World" this week in Prague, Cuban human rights activists, led by former political prisoner José Gabriel Ramón Castillo, presented a document listing the names of 307 political prisoners on the island. The list, which is now known as the "Lista de Praga," or "The Prague List," is not meant to be inclusive, but it does provide a general idea of the scope of repression on the island, and how many people are imprisoned because of their opposition to the Castro dictatorship.

To give you a sense of how pervasive that repression is, consider this: Cuba is a nation of about 11 million people; the U.S. is at just under 308 million. If the U.S. government jailed its opponents at the rate the Castro dictatorship does, there would be about 8,600 political prisoners in American jails.

Do you think that would get more notice than what Cuban political prisoners get today?

Ramón and other activists, like the Cuban Democratic DIrectorate, are trying to break that embargo on information about those imprisoned in the Castro gulag.

At the forum, Ramón personally delivered a copy to former Czech Republic president, and former political prisoner, Vaclav Havel, who then added his name to a list of dignitaries expressing their support for the Cuban prisoners, and demanding their immediate release. (You can watch a video of Ramón meeting with Havel, here.)

You can do the same, by reading this list, and forwarding it to others.

(H/T for the list to Cuban Democratic Directorate.)

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