The number of political prisoners in Cuba rose by three to 208 in the first half of the year; the Cuban Commission of Human Rights said the increase, although small, "reflects the situation of paralysis and indifference of the Cuban government toward the urgent need to end political imprisonment on the island." "During this summer 2009, the situation of civil, political and economic rights, and of certain cultural rights of the first order, continues being the worst of the whole Western Hemisphere," said the illegal, but tolerated group in its semi-annual report. (Reuters)

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