14ymedio, Havana, 29 May 2022 — Ángel Rolando Castillo Sánchez, father of Rowland Jesús Castillo, one of the minors in prison for his participation in the 11J (July 11th) protests at the corner of Toyo, Havana, was sentenced to two years in prison this Wednesday in an express trial, according to statements made on social media by his son’s mother, Yudinela Castro. The process took place with a public defender and the family was notified just hours before.
Castillo had been in jail since May 5th, when he was accused of coercion by a friend of Rowland, Giuseppe Belaunzaran Guada. This child, the grandson of a Cuban official, had also been convicted for 11J, but was not sent to prison, serving his 10-year sentence under house arrest.
According to Castro, the young man, not only a friend of her son, but also of other protesters, made a video defending them but his mother accused Castillo of pressuring Giuseppe to film it.
Castro stated that the case had been fabricated to put the brakes on Castillo’s protests demanding freedom for his son and other 11J protesters. At the end of April, the man spent several hours at the police station in San Miguel del Padrón along with Brandon David Becerra Curbelo’s mother, Yanaisi Curbelo, and Lázaro Noel Urgellés Fajardo’s mother, Maylín Fajardo. They were all headed to a march to demand rights for their children and ended up being arrested.
Since his last arrest in May, Castillo has remained in the Vivac penitentiary, where he was on a hunger strike and refusing medical attention.
Rowland Castillo was 17 years old when he went to the streets on 11J to protest and was sentenced to 12 years in prison for sedition. His mother, Yudinela Castro, has also had to face an arrest at the end of April and was accused of contempt, but after being held for 15 days in Villa Marista prison, she was freed on provisional release on March 10th.
A few days later, the woman, who has leukemia, was admitted to Julio Trigo hospital in Havana after attempting to take her own life. Family sources told 14ymedio that she was recovering and was receiving psychiatric treatment.
“It is difficult to accept so much cruelty, like what we are experiencing,” said Castro on Wednesday, after hearing the news. “As Rowland’s mother, I will go wherever I need to go and do everything I need to do through legal means. Freedom for Ángel Rolando and Rowland Jesús,” she demanded.
Translated by: Silvia Suárez
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