Media and independent activists have been the most affected by repression from the authorities
On 22nd May 2023, civil society organisations called on the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Police, Josep Borrell, to ensure that human rights remain at the centre of the EU’s relations with Cuba. The call highlights the fact that the Cuban government has used restrictive laws, censorship, and intimidation tactics to restrict civic space. Activists face unfair trials, arbitrary detention, harassment and repression from the regime and are excluded from political decision-making.
On 30th May, civil society organisation Prisoners Defenders released its first comprehensive study on the torture of political prisoners in Cuba. From April 2022 to March 2023, the organisation documented 181 cases of mistreatment and torture of political dissidents, journalists, and citizens who have been detained or imprisoned because of their opposition to the Cuban government. According to the study, prisoners have been deprived of medical care, forced into excessive labour in extreme conditions, kept in solitary confinement and been subjected to physical aggression.
According to the midyear report by the InterAmerican Press Association (IAPA) released in April 2023, the media and independent activists have been the most affected by repressions from the authorities. The government continues to ban independent media and associations of independent journalists from having space and representation on radio and television.
According to the IAPA report, the number of attacks on media workers has decreased during the period under review, though not because of an improvement in civic space, but rather because reporters have left the country.
On 26th May 2023, the National Assembly approved the Law on Social Communication, which gives broad powers to the government to control and close media outlets. The IAPA condemned the new law that effectively legalises official censorship. According to IAPA President Michael Greenspon, the Cuban regime is using administrative and legal means to defuse growing social discontent through increased censorship and restrictions on freedom of expression and the press.
🇨🇺 ¿Qué nos preocupa de la ley de Comunicación Social en #Cuba?— ARTICLE 19 MX-CA (@article19mex) May 22, 2023
🚨 Esta ley no garantiza la libertad de prensa ni permite difundir contenidos independientes de los que genera el Estado.
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