Justice Without Delay: A Human Right / Cuban Law Association, Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo

Instruction No. 193 of 8 July 2007, of the Government Council of the People´s Supreme Court, affirms in the first that INASMUCH AS: The administration of justice in our country has as a priority the adequate speed in the processing of judicial proceedings in general and in virtue of that there having been adopted various means to expedite the processing of penal proceedings and especially matters concerning the accused who are in temporary custody…

Judicial practice reveals something entirely different, since that adequate speed in the processing of judicial proceedings of the accused who are in temporary custody is uncertain, which can be verified simply by having in view the statistical data managed within the framework of meetings of conciliation or coordination, for the analysis of the issue, meetings held between the Courts, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior, responsible entities or their representatives, mandated by the aforementioned Instruction 193, for the evaluating and specifying of the criminal situation with defendants who are in custody, which report on pending legal procedures, paying particular attention to the reasons that negatively affect cases of detentions longer than 90 days.

It turns out to be incontestable that the measures taken to expedite the processing of the criminal trial with the accused in temporary detention have not achieved that purpose, since the number of accused persons held in detention, in criminal matters, has not diminished, and quite the contrary continues to increase, and the detention time in that situation goes beyond the excessive, not just by the end of the 90 days as Instruction 193 fixes, but in addition the SIX MONTHS established for that purpose, by Article 107 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

This is to act illegally, breaking Paragraph 3 of Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release.

It is in this situation that from July 31, 2012, like many people, my wife MARIENYS PAVÓ OÑATE, has found herself at the Western Provinces Women’s Prison; in just three months it will be one year, on the occasion of an alleged criminal offense, and still she has not been brought before the Court to be tried nor has she been released by the Prosecutor.

Lic. Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo

We hear all too often in our mass media with a large audience, such as “Mesa Redonda” (the “Round Table” program) that they analyze and criticize, as a serious violation of human rights, that in prisons in multiple places on the planet, people remain permanently jailed, and they have not even been formally charged. Is this the mote in the eye of another?

30 April 2013