14ymedio, Havana, 23 July 2021 — As of this Friday, the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH) has registered 757 people detained since the demonstrations on July 11 in dozens of cities throughout the island. In a face-to-face and virtual press conference, the director of the organization with headquarters in Madrid, Alejandro González Raga, detailed that of those arrested, 13 are minors .
For the Observatory, its director said, it is difficult to accept the figure of a single person dying in the riots, the only one recognized by the regime, “basically because it comes from a government that has never accepted anything in the direction of clarifying facts,” always preferring to appeal “to interference in the internal affairs of the Island” and that “it considers that anyone who opposes it” falls into a subcategory of human being “against whom” any type of violence can be used.”
The demands of the peaceful protesters that Sunday, González Raga said, “are inalienable rights” that should not only be recognized but also guaranteed by the Cuban government. Instead, he continues, the regime ordered “a hunt throughout the national territory” for people who had participated in the protests, using “all available instruments from its long inventory of articles of repression” and even releasing “new technology.”
The OCDH noted that those arrested were identified through videos posted on social networks and were taken to “ad hoc detention centers,” some of them, prisons that were previously unused.
The number of detainees — 601 men and 156 women — the organization specified, was collected “amid digital blackouts” and “intimidation campaigns.” To arrest “a peaceful opponent,” González Raga said, the government uses “spectacular military operations” in which it uses more than 20 agents, patrols and trained dogs. “They are not arresting a delinquent, or a murderer, or a criminal,” he said.
The director of the OCDH conceded that in some places there were “events of public disorder,” but they are not the vast majority. Meanwhile, the news that the organization has is that all the people who have been tried have been accused of “public disorder,” sentenced to one year in jail or held under house arrest with precautionary measures until they are tried.
The Government is also prosecuting some arrested, they reported, for “transmission of epidemics,”,when, denounced the Observatory, the Government has just summoned its “acolytes” to participate in “tumultuous marches,” which are in no way different from those held on July 11.
That the relatives are not informed where the detainees are being held, is “forced disappearance” said González Raga — something denounced by the UN last week — “arbitrary detention” and “torture.”
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