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Cuba to free 2 more political prisoners

The Cuban Roman Catholic Church [official website] announced Friday that Cuban officials have agreed to release two more political prisoners. The agreement includes allowing Angel Moya to stay in Cuba [VOA report] and Guido Sigler to go to the US. Moya is only the second prisoner [Reuters report] authorities have allowed to remain in Cuba. So far, most have been released on the condition that they relocate with their families to Spain. Moya's wife is one of the leaders [AFP report] of the Ladies in White [advocacy website, in Spanish] which is composed of relatives of the jailed dissidents. Sigler and Moya are part of the 52 prisoners authorities Cuba agreed to free [JURIST report] in July. Authorities indicated their refusal to leave Cuba resulted in their delayed release [BBC report]. The nine remaining prisoners have likewise refused to leave Cuba, and no date has been set for their release.

Cuba continues to face criticism for its human rights record including claiming that the Cuban government repressed dissidents and violated fundamental civil liberties. In November, Havana released the only other dissident who was permitted to stay in Cuba [JURIST report], reportedly because of advanced age. In October, dissident Guillermo Farinas was awarded the Sakharov Prize [JURIST report], given to those who work for human rights and fundamental freedoms. In July, the first of the prisoners was released a few days after the original deal was brokered.

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