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The symbolic jail cell on Wenceslas Square, Prague

2004-03-18 / Roisin Joyce

A symbolic jail cell was erected in Wenceslas Square, Prague, from March 15-18 as part of the Stop the Repressions in Cuba campaign. Launched by Prague mayor Pavel Bem, the cell served to commemorate the first anniversary of the arrest and imprisonment of the 75 prisoners of conscience in March 2003.

Exactly 75 public figures, including deputy Prime Minister Petr Mares, Senate chairman Petr Pithart and Alexandr Vondra, former ambassador to the US and deputy foreign minister, as well as Olympic conoeing medalist Lukas Pollert, demonstrated their solidarity with the Cuban prisoners by spending one hour in the replica cell wearing a prison uniform. The cell also served to encourage awareness amongst the Czech public concerning the situation in Cuba, particularly focusing on the arrest and imprisonment of the 75 political prisoners. The cell was well received in both the Czech and European press.

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This project is supported by funds from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic through the Transition Promotion Program.