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Last Updated: Monday, 23 April 2007, 22:57 GMT 23:57 UK
Cuba sentences dissident to jail
A Cuban dissident has been jailed for 12 years after a secret trial in Havana for writing anti-government slogans, a Cuban human rights group has said.

Lawyer Rolando Jimenez Posada, 36, was tried for disrespecting authority and revealing secrets about state security police, the rights group said.

Mr Posada, who has been in detention since March 2003, was reportedly not allowed to defend himself in court.

He is the second dissident in Cuba to be tried secretly this month.

It is not clear whether the time Mr Posada has already spent in jail on the Isle of Youth, off Cuba's southern coast, would count towards the 12-year sentence.

Second arrest

Elizardo Sanchez, spokesman for the independent Cuban Commission for Human Rights and Reconciliation, said the lawyer's relatives claimed authorities denied his request to represent himself in court.

Mr Sanchez said: "In two weeks we have seen two similar secret trials behind closed doors, without relatives or defence attorneys present.

"This is a clear sign than they are getting tough on dissident activity again," he said.

Earlier this month, the rights commission condemned what it said was the secret trial of independent journalist Oscar Sanchez Madan.

The journalist was arrested at his home on 13 April and sentenced to four years in jail on a charge of "social dangerousness," Mr Sanchez said.

In March 2003 Cuba arrested and jailed 75 dissidents accused of conspiring with the US, triggering international condemnation.

Cuba frees well-known dissident
06 Dec 06 |  Americas
Cuba warns dissidents over US aid
12 Jul 06 |  Americas
Country profile: Cuba
23 Feb 07 |  Country profiles

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