Cubalex, 16 December 2020 — On December 5th, Luis Robles Eliazastegui demonstrated in Blvd. San Rafael in central Havana. Various people videoed his protest and also the moment in which police officers arrested him without any opposition or resistance on his part.
According to information we have received he has been held at the State Security headquarters in Havana, known as Villa Marista, accused of disregard of the legally-constituted Authority and of terrorism. In Article 56 of the present Constitution, the state recognises the right to licit and peaceful protest, which does not breach public order and accords with established legal precepts.
The right to protest is an element of freedom of expression, but in Cuba it is criminalised in relation to those who criticise the government. But, on a discretional basis, the Penal Code considers participation in protests to be an offence against public order if there is infringement of the regulations pertaining to the exercise of such rights.
To date, there is no law which protects our right to demonstrate. Nor are there legal or administrative procedures for notifying or requesting authorisation for a demonstration, nor legal mechanisms for appealing against decisions to deny permission for a demonstration. While it is clear that the exercise of human rights may be restricted in order to safeguard public order and the general wellbeing of a democratic society, it is not acceptable in international law to impose restrictions on human rights based solely upon motives of discrimination.
Discretionally, and based upon political motives, demonstrations in defence of government ideology are permitted, such as in the case of Trillo Park a few days ago, and this constitutes discrimination institutionalised by political motives.
We would remind the Cuban government that no state or group of people is permitted to undertake or develop activities or take actions intended to suppress any of the rights or liberties recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We demand the immediate release of Luis Robles Eliazasteguis.
Translated by GH