Activist and Blogger Agustin Lopez Charged with Crime of ‘Receiving’

Activist and blogger Agustín López Canino

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 6 March 2018 — The activist and blogger Agustín López Canino has been charged with the crime of “receiving” after a police search of his home last Friday, where a personal computer, camera and other objects were seized. The opponent could face a sentence of up to one year in prison, according to the criminal code.

Last Friday, around seven o’clock in the morning, several members of the National Revolutionary Police and State Security agents went to the home of López Canino to search it, according to the activist speaking to 14ymedio.

“There were two police cars, three agents on their bikes and Lieutenant Colonel Kenya,” he details. “They assaulted my house and it was only after my things were on the table, the computer and other objects like disks, that they looked for two witnesses from the block.” Cuban law requires two civilian witnesses be present any time a home is searched.

López Canino states that “at no time” did the officers show him a search warrant, although current legislation establishes that the document must be shown before proceeding to search a home.

“They collected things from the trash, they took my laptop, a camera, a DVD burner and everything they could, even cables that did not work,” adds the editor of the independent publication El Gran Blondin.

At the end of the search, which lasted more than three hours, the activist was arrested and taken to the Santiago de las Vegas Police Station, where he was charged with the crime of “receiving.” After 72 hours he was released this Monday, after paying a bond of 3,000 CUP. The penal code considers that for “anyone who… exchanges or acquires goods” that come from a crime; the punishment specified is “deprivation of liberty from three months to one year or a fine of 100 to 300 shares* [CUP] or both.”

López Canino, born in 1955 in Santo Domingo, Villa Clara, in the last decade has engaged in an intense activism, linked to opposition groups. He graduated as a naval engineer, and worked as a navy officer and merchant marine.

In 2010 he opened his blog Dekaisone, denouncing the lack of liberties on the island and the violation of human rights.

*Translator’s note: The Cuban penal code establishes fines based on ’shares’ so that the entire list of fines can be changed by the single action of redefining how much a ’share’ is.


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