57th General Assembly Washington, DC October 12 – 16, 2001 CUBA WHEREAS Cuba maintains a totalitarian press regime, under which the media are simply instruments of state propaganda, divorced from the most basic principles of independent journalism WHEREAS the growing number of journalists who try to practice their profession outside the official press apparatus lack the means to get their messages to the Cuban people and are systematically persecuted WHEREAS the so-called Law of Reaffirmation of National Dignity and Sovereignty (“gag law”) that since 1997 has been used to legitimize the persecution and detention of those who dare to challenge the state’s control over freedom of expression is still in effect WHEREAS under the protection of this law, independent journalist Bernardo Arévalo Padrón and labor leader José Orlando González Bridón, among others, have been sentenced to prison WHEREAS independent Cuban journalists are still prohibited from traveling abroad to do their work continues WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec says, “Freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, terrorism, kidnapping, pressure, intimidation, the unjust imprisonment of journalists, the destruction of facilities, violence of any kind and impunity for perpetrators. Such acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly,” and Principle 5 says, “Prior censorship, restrictions on the circulation of the media or dissemination of their reports, forced publication of information, the imposition of obstacles to the free flow of news, and restrictions on the activities and movements of journalists directly contradict freedom of the press” THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to condemn the absolute lack of press freedom in Cuba to demand that the Cuban authorities dismantle the mechanisms of repression and control that prevent the development of independent journalism and the creation of press outlets outside the state system to censure the persecution of independent journalists and verdicts imposed under the so-called Law of Reaffirmation of National Dignity and Sovereignty (“gag law”) to demand the freedom of those who are in prison for trying to exercise the right of free expression to express its solidarity with independent journalists and all Cuban citizens who, despite the restrictions and repression, insist on exercising their right to free expression and publication to maintain an attitude of vigilance about events on the island to promote full exercise of press freedom. to insist that the government allow journalists the right to travel freely.