Ley Mordaza – Gag Law
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    20 journalists in prison since March 2003

    20 journalists in prison since March 2003

    In Cuba, they don’t just censor you now – they throw you in jail.

    President Fidel Castro’s police rounded up 27 independent journalists on
    18 March 2003, along with more than 50 political dissidents, all for the
    same reason. At the beginning of April, Cuban courts dispatched each of
    these journalists to prison for between 14 and 27 years after three days
    of sham trials. They were punished for allegedly working with the United
    States “against the independence and territorial integrity of the
    state,” which is a crime under article 91 of the Cuban criminal code and
    under article 88 on “protecting national independence” (known as the
    “gag law”).

    Those targeted had regularly published articles in the foreign press,
    mostly American, since no independent or privately-owned newspaper or
    radio or TV station is allowed in Cuba, and had recently dared to start
    up two underground publications in Cuba itself – “De Cuba” and “Luz
    Cubana” – which was unprecedented in the 44 years of President Castro’s

    This new persecution of political opponents and independent journalists,
    as well as the execution on 11 April of three would-be refugees who
    hijacked a ferry in a bid to reach Florida, has revolted democrats
    around the world, even leading the European Union to reconsider its
    future economic cooperation with Cuba. As a result, fourteen of the
    dissidents, including seven journalists, have since been released.

    Reporters Without Borders invites the public to sign a petition calling
    for the immediate release of the 20 journalists who are still in jail.


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