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The symbolic jail cell on Wenceslas Square, Prague

2005-03-18 / Roisin Joyce

The second anniversary of the arrest and imprisonment of the 75 prisoners of conscience was once again marked by a symbolic jail cell on Wenceslas Square, Prague as part of the Stop the Repressions campaign. Launched by Pavel Bem, the jail cell stood on the square from 18-19 March and in addition to former political prisoners and dissidents, politicians and celebrities, the public also took part in the event, showing their support for and solidarity with the Cuban prisoners.

Prisoners included Senators Jaromír Štětina and Martin Mejstřík, MP Milan Ekert, former prisoner in Cuba Jan Bubeník, bishop and former political prisoner Václav Malý, film director Petr Čtvrtníček, designer David Černý, ice-hockey coach Slavomír Lener, and actor Tomáš Hanák. Former president Vaclav Havel, who spent five years in communist jails as a dissident under the pre-1989 communist regime, addressed participants in a video message. In addition to demonstrating support and solidarity, the cell 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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