14ymedio, Havana, 8 June 2020 — This Monday a petition signed by more than 3,000 Cubans, 500 of them residents on the Island, was delivered to the National Assembly of People’s Power with a request to repeal Decree Law 370 “as unconstitutional.” The petition is addressed to Esteban Lazo Hernández, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez and other top officials, according to the independent journalist Camila Acosta, who spoke with 14ymedio.
“The only way we have to demonstrate that human rights and all international covenants and treaties regarding human rights are violated in Cuba, is by way of this petition, first appealing to the institutions within Cuba and then demonstrating it internationally. When a complaint is made, the first thing the international organizations ask is that all the legal resources that exist in the country have been exhausted. That is what we are doing, despite various institutions and international media having already spoken about what is happening in Cuba with this decree,” said Acosta.
The document was delivered simultaneously to the State Council, the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic and the People’s Supreme Court. Iliana Hernández and Esteban Rodríguez, Oscar Casanella, Héctor Luis Valdés Cocho, Esteban Rodríguez, Maikel Osorbo, Camila Acosta and Ángel Santiesteban Prats participated in the delivery.
“Although it is true that the Cuban Constitution is contradictory, that the laws in Cuba are made to crush citizens more, that is the Constitution that exists, that is the Government that exists and we have to demand that it respect our rights,” added the reporter, who was recently fined under this Decree Law.
According to a statement published on the Facebook page, No to dictated laws, the signatories make this request protected by the right they have to “address complaints and requests to the authorities,” as recognized by Article 61 of the Constitution. They also put the demand to several Cuban officials who promote before the Assembly “the question of unconstitutionality of Decree Law 370.”
“It is very likely that they will not give us the answer we expect, but it is the next step, and then we can file the complaint with international organizations,” said Acosta.
In order to fine citizens and independent journalists, the authorities have relied on subsection (i) of Article 68 of the decree on “the computerization of society in Cuba.” This subsection involves a fine of 3,000 pesos and/or the confiscation of equipment for “disseminating through public data transmission networks, information contrary to social interest, morals, good customs and the integrity of people.”
According to the calculation of the fined activists, 27 Cuban citizens, independent journalists and activists from the Island have been fined 3,000 pesos under Decree Law 370 since January. Some of them have had their work equipment confiscated, ranging from computers to cell phones, and others have been summoned to the police units to receive the threat that if they continue with the journalistic work they may face the same fate and be fined.
On May 6, several organizations and the media published a statement denouncing that the Cuban Government annihilates freedom of expression on the Internet through Decree Law 370.
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