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CUBA

Amnesty International denounces jailing of political prisoners

HAVANA — Amnesty International on Wednesday placed four jailed Cubans on its global list of political prisoners, the only inmates on the island to have such a designation, and denounced the communist government for a campaign of intimidation and detentions targeting the opposition.

The report, released just days ahead of a visit to Cuba by Pope Benedict XVI, said the human rights situation on the island “has further deteriorated” with thousands of short-term express detentions meant to cow the small dissident community.

It said detainees are threatened and sometimes beaten before release.

MAURITANIA

Gadhafi spy chief to remain in custody

NOUAKCHOTT — A senior member of Mauritania’s government said Wednesday that the country will not hand over Moammar Gadhafi’s ex-spy chief for trial in Libya, directly contradicting the claim hours earlier by Libya that said Mauritania had said it would hand over Abdullah al-Senoussi.

“Mauritania has given no assurances whatsoever to Libya regarding handing over al-Senoussi,” said the official, who is close to the negotiations and who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussion.

He said Libya went ahead with the declaration earlier Wednesday in order to “force Mauritania’s hand” and pressure it to hand over al-Senoussi, even though it is unclear whether he would receive a fair trial in his home country where Gadhafi was killed by the mob that captured him.

Gadhafi’s former intelligence chief is accused of attacking civilians during the uprising in Libya last year and of the 1989 bombing of a French airliner.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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