Amnesty International Asks to Enter Cuba to Follow the Trials of July 11th Protesters

The activist Yoandris Gutiérrez Vargas, one of those prosecuted in Bayamo for the July 11 demonstrations. (Facebook)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 26 March 2022 — On Friday, the organization Amnesty International (AI) asked to enter Cuba to follow the trials against the demonstrators accused of the anti-government protests of last July 11.

In a statement, AI reported that it has also asked the Cuban government to let in other human rights observers to follow up on the trials.

The London-based organization called the proceedings “unjust” and “opaque.”

“The Cuban authorities have continued their campaign of criminalization with the sole purpose of reestablishing the culture of fear,” Erika Guevara Rosas, director of AI for the Americas, criticized in the document.

Since December, trials of July 11 (11J) protesters have been taking place in Cuba, with hundreds of defendants. Several NGOs – as AI is doing now – have denounced lack of guarantees, fabrication of evidence and very high penalties.

According to the NGOs Justicia 11J and Cubalex, a total of 1,442 people have been detained in relation to the protests. Of these, at least 756 remain in detention centers.

On the other hand, Prisoners Defenders points out that at least 842 people were in prison on the island at the end of 2021 for political reasons, mostly for the events of 11J.

The Cuban Attorney General’s Office reported that 790 people have been prosecuted for the July 11 protests, of which 55 are between 16 and 17 years old.

On March 16, a sentence was released in which 127 people were sentenced to a total of 1,916 years in prison for acts related to the protests in Esquina de Toyo and La Güinera, two humble areas of Havana.

The defendants, investigated mainly for sedition and theft, were accused of “serious disturbances and acts of vandalism, with the purpose of destabilizing public order, collective security and citizen tranquility,” according to the Supreme Court.

According to Amnesty International, these types of accusations serve to “squelch dissent.”

The NGO also noted that Cuba is the only country on the American continent where it is not allowed to enter.

It also mentioned opponents Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, from the San Isidro Movement, and Maykel Castillo Pérez, co-author of the song “Patria y vida,” imprisoned since last year and whom they describes as “prisoners of conscience.”


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