11J: These arrested for the protests in Cuba face requests for as much as 30 years in jail | International

The mothers of two protesters who were arrested during the protests last July in Cuba, this Tuesday in Havana.
The moms of two protesters who have been arrested in the course of the protests final July in Cuba, this Tuesday in Havana.Ramon Espinosa (AP)

Six months after the huge demonstrations of July 11 of final yr, lots of of Cubans arrested for taking part in protests in opposition to the federal government are tried in numerous courts within the nation on expenses of contempt, public dysfunction, incitement to commit against the law, assault and in some instances are as critical as sedition, which might carry sentences of as much as 30 years in jail.

The info is complicated and troublesome to confirm, because the authorities haven’t supplied official knowledge on how many individuals have been detained throughout or after the incidents, nor on what number of Cubans are nonetheless in jail, nor on the trials already carried out and the sentences imposed. Nor has something been mentioned in regards to the processes that stay to be aired, and never even at this level has it been reported what number of demonstrations have been peaceable and what number of have been violent on 11-J, when tens of 1000’s of individuals took to the streets of greater than 60 cities and cities of Cuba to protest the cruel residing situations and demand freedom, within the largest demonstrations in opposition to the Government in 62 years of revolution.

Beyond the occasional complaints from the family of the prisoners, the one sources that provide international knowledge on what is going on with the detainees are anti-Castro NGOs similar to Cubalex or Prisoners Defenders, which calculate that at the least a thousand folks have been imprisoned because of the occasions of July 11, of which it’s estimated that between 600 and 700 are nonetheless in jail awaiting trial, some minors. Of a bunch of greater than 200 instances that Cubalex claims to have documented, for 25 folks the Prosecutor’s Office requests sanctions of as much as 5 years, 63 face expenses of between 6 and 10 years in jail, one other 27 face requests of between 11 and 15 years. , whereas 49 might spend between 16 and 20 years behind bars and one other 46 between 20 and 30 years for sedition, if the requests of the general public ministry are ratified.

The Government neither confirms these knowledge nor denies them. The nationwide press doesn’t inform the official media of the processes and the international press has not had entry to the oral hearings, in order that the data solely flows in a trickle by the family. A bunch of them reported {that a} trial started on Tuesday in opposition to 21 residents of Holguín who participated within the demonstrations in that japanese metropolis, which at occasions led to violence. The prosecutors’ requests on this case vary from 15 to 30 years in jail, for sedition expenses.

Another trial started on Monday within the central metropolis of Santa Clara in opposition to 16 younger folks, whereas from the province of Artemisa, one other group of family reported that 13 protesters – who have been tried in mid-November – acquired their sentence final week: sentences starting from 4 years restricted supervised launch to 12 years in jail.

Dissident sources reported that within the city of Bejucal, 30 kilometers from Havana, a trial for contempt, public dysfunction, outrage in opposition to the symbols of the nation and sabotage in opposition to seven native youths, together with the coed of music Abel González Lescay, for whom the Prosecutor’s Office asks for seven years in jail. The affected individual research on the Higher Institute of Art and has been supported by his college after his case hit the press. The younger man mentioned that on 11-J he took to the streets and demonstrated peacefully, however the subsequent day he was arrested at dwelling for showing in a video. He assured that whereas acquaintances of his have been fined and launched, he was topic to a home arrest sanction whereas the trial is held. “The only difference between them and me is that they have a video of me calling a policeman a fagot,” he clarified.

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Other instances have been just lately dismissed, similar to that of the artists who met on July 11 on the doorways of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television to demand quarter-hour earlier than the tv cameras, after which they have been arrested and subjected to accommodate arrest. —In this group was the playwright Yunior García, the principle organizer of the annoyed march for change on November 15, who later went into exile in Spain—.

The Cuban authorities consists of the occasions of 11-J in its previous dispute with the US, assuring that the demonstrations have been instigated and manipulated by Washington and that in lots of cities and cities within the nation they led to acts of vandalism, looting and violent actions. However, quite a few voices throughout the island, together with personalities associated to the Government such because the troubadour Silvio Rodríguez, have demanded proportionality from the authorities and the discharge of the protesters who didn’t take part in violent acts, particularly criticizing using the prison determine of “sedition” to prosecute detainees.

“The requested sentences are excessive and obviously exemplary,” says the historian and coordinator of the portal La Joven Cuba, Alina Bárbara López Hernández, who believes that “the fiscal requests are very high and not subject to law: for example, to Abel Lescay, student at the University of Art Sciences, they ask him for seven years in prison for demonstrating in his town, shouting insults at the President of the Republic and refusing to be arrested inside his home. In another case, for publicly tearing up a portrait of Fidel Castro, they are seeking 10 years in prison. There are higher sentences: 12, 15, 20 and 25 years”.

Relatives of Cubans detained as a result of the 11-J incidents asked more than 30 embassies in Havana to accompany the processes “as observers”, while the US government last week sanctioned eight senior Cuban officials “concerned within the detention, the sentencing and incarceration of peaceable protesters on July 11.” Previously, Washington had sanctioned one other 9 officers, largely military and law enforcement officials, associated to the repression of the protests. Official media described the sanctions as “a new attempt by the US government to interfere in the internal affairs of Cuba, try to mediate the administration of justice in the country and try to protect the elements that, largely financed by Washington, intend to subvert the political and social order of Cuba”.

The lack of transparency is a key issue at the moment. “The information we receive is that which exists on social networks and alternative media, as a result of complaints from relatives, friends or independent jurists; therefore, they are fluctuating and inaccurate data. Lack of official information on the number of detainees, the dates of the trials, the tax petitions and the resulting sentences,” López said.

Along the same lines, the academic and former Cuban diplomat Carlos Alzugaray recently pointed out that “at this point there is still no number of detainees or information on how many demonstrations took place, how many were peaceful, how many generated disturbances, or how many citizens participated. And, of course, there are voices that demand the release of everyone who protested peacefully, including those of the singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez, highly respected in government circles ”.

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