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UN Human Rights Expert Expresses Concern About Cuba

A United Nations human rights envoy has expressed deep concern about the physical and mental health of some 60 imprisoned dissidents in Cuba.

Human rights expert Catherine Chanet told the U.N. Human Rights Council Tuesday that she remains concerned about detention conditions for a group of dissidents - journalists, writers, and activists - arrested in a crackdown in Cuba in 2003. She also said Cuba's refusal to cooperate has resulted in an impasse and she recommended ending yearly reports on Cuba's human rights situation.

Chanet suggested moving to a proposed new system in which the Human Rights Council reviews the human rights situation of every nation in its membership, not just selected ones with poor past records.

Cuba supports that move. In a speech Tuesday, the Cuban U.N. ambassador in Geneva said about the yearly reports: "this farce is about to end."

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.