The Cuban dictatorship judges 45 people, including two minors, for the historic July protests

A protest in Cuba on July 11 (EFE/Ernesto Mastrascusa)

you sound, including two minors, will be tried starting this Monday in Cuba in relation to the anti-government protests of July 11, according to data compiled by activists. The group Justice 11J assures that there are three trials, which are held in Mayabeque and Havana, and that for some of the accused up to 20 years in prison are requested.

The prosecution charges these people with various crimes, such as public disorder, contempt, resistance, attack, outrage against the symbols of the country and, in the case of major penalties, they are accused of sedition, activists say.

Cuban judicial authorities do not usually report on legal processes, which the official media do not report on either. In addition, the hearings are not public and the international media have no possibility of covering them.

The largest of the processes is the one that takes place in the Municipal Court of October 10 of Havana, where it is judged until Friday in a common cause to 23 people with requests for up to 20 years in prison.

In this trial, the activists have detected that two of the defendants are 17 years old. For both, the prosecution asks for 15 years in prison.

Cuban flags hang from buildings in Havana.
Cuban flags hang from buildings in Havana.

In Cuba the minimum criminal age is 16 years. The Penal Code (article 17.1) contemplates the possibility of reducing the sentences of minors by half. For those convicted between 18 and 20, the sentences can be reduced by a third.

In the western province of Mayabeque Two trials are taking place this week, both in the Municipal Court of San José de las Lajas. In the first, between this Monday and Wednesday, 15 people face up to 14 years in prison; in the second, on Thursday, 7 people face sentences of up to 15 years.

Several NGOs have denounced lack of guarantees, fabrication of evidence and very high sentences for those accused in these processes for the events of July 11.

The Cuban judicial authorities assure that international instruments are strictly complied with, deny that these are political processes and They emphasize that they judge only violent crimes and acts of vandalism.

The president of the People’s Supreme Court, Ruben Remigio, made an indirect reference this Monday to the processes at the opening of the judicial year by assuring that, despite the pandemic, the Cuban Justice has been able to continue prosecuting those who “they committed acts of vandalism, violent attacks against authorities and officials, and other serious criminal acts.”

The Cuban Executive has also denied that they are trials of a political nature. Dictator Miguel Díaz-Canel recently assured that on the island “there are no political prisoners” and that Cubans “they can demonstrate freely” against the revolution.

According to Prisoners Defenders, a Spanish NGO that defends human rights in Cuba, at least 842 people were in prison on the island for political reasons at the end of 2021, in most cases for the events of July 11. Among them, the NGO assures that there are 26 children between 14 and 17 years old.

For its part, the Cuban NGO Cubalex has identified in its latest count a total of 1,377 detainees as a result of July 11 and another 94 for the frustrated protest of November 15. Of these, 727 (of which 15 are minors) are still under arrest. Another 361 have been tried in summary or ordinary proceedings. The NGO Cuban Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH) recently denounced the situation of 39 minors under the age of 21 “imprisoned in Cuba for peacefully protesting”.

On July 11, the largest anti-government protests in decades took place in Cuba, spontaneous and massive demonstrations linked to the serious economic crisis that the country is going through.

(With information from EFE)

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