Cuba prison cells
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A glimpse inside Cuba's high security prisons

Cuba has allowed foreign journalists to visit several of its prisons, for the first time in almost a decade,

It is part of an effort to show improvements ahead of a review of the government's human rights record at the UN.

But access for expert monitors like the Red Cross, remains barred.

Although fewer Cubans are being imprisoned for their political views, activists say hundreds of dissidents still suffer short-term detention by police, every month.

Sarah Rainsford reports from the capital, Havana.