More Than 400 People Continue to be Detained After the Cuban Protests of July 11

No one detained during the 11th July protests is still listed as missing by Cubalex. (Screen capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, September 1, 2021 — At least 405 people arrested during the protests in Cuba that began on July 11 remain in prison, according to a report by the Cubalex legal advice center. These data, collected independently with the help of a group of volunteers, show that of the total number of arrests (898), the crimes most commonly charged are “public disorder,” “contempt,” “instigation to commit a crime,” and “assault.”

One of those who remains imprisoned is Liliana Ferrer, 20, arrested in the La Güinera neighborhood of Havana in the heat of the July 12 protests. The young woman is currently in the Guatao prison accused of assault. Her mother, Lizandra Ferrer, tells 14ymedio that she spoke with her by phone this Wednesday but that “she doesn’t know anything about her legal proceedings.”

“She’s accused of assault but there are many charged with the same crime who were bailed out for 2,000 pesos. Then they paid a fine and are now free,” she says in anguish. “So I don’t understand what’s happened with her. They haven’t held a trial. I already hired a lawyer but he hasn’t gotten a change of status for her so she can be at home.”

She explains that on the block where they live the authorities have done “like three investigations” regarding her daughter’s social behavior and that she knew that they have always “spoken highly of her, that she doesn’t meet with antisocial people and that she is a good little girl. I don’t understand why she’s going through this.”

The mother claims she doesn’t know precisely what evidence they have against Ferrer. “Some people, including the lawyer, have told me that they accuse her of having a bottle in her hand and that in a photo of her you can see when she gives it to a man who asks for it,” she explained.

The sisters Lisdani and Lisdiani Rodríguez Isaac, both 22 years old, are in a similar situation. They are being held under a “precautionary measure of provisional imprisonment” in Guamajal Prison, in Placetas, Villa Clara, for the crimes of “public disorder, contempt, instigation to commit a crime, assault, and the propagation of epidemics.”

Also in prison awaiting trial on assault charges are Livan Hernández Lago, from Artemisa; Luis Felipe Castillo Ochoa, from Havana, and Maykel Armentero Oramas, in Villa Clara. María Cristina Garrido, from Mayabeque, charged with the crime of attack, is also accused of “public disorder, resistance, and the propagation of epidemics.”

In Holguín province, Marco Antonio Pintueles, a business student, is also accused of assault after his arrest in the Plaza de la Revolución in that province. The young man is currently in the Provincial Prison, according to a report by his mother, Dairy Marrero, speaking to Radio Martí.

The woman says that she went to the Prosecutor’s Office seeking information on her son’s case but didn’t get answers “anywhere” and considers what happened “an injustice.” “He’s a boy who just turned 18. I didn’t know he’d been arrested until about five days ago when he called me from prison,” Rivero explained this Tuesday.

The crime of assault, according to the Cuban Penal Code, carries a prison sentence of one to three years.

On Cubalex’s list, no detainee is reported as missing. One of those who had been included in this category is the dissident José Daniel Ferrer, but his family reported this Friday that they had received a letter signed by him, which they are “fairly certain” is from him. In the letter, Ferrer, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unpacu), said he is being held in Mar Verde prison, in Santiago de Cuba.

“We give some credence to it, but we can’t guarantee that it’s really his own handwriting,” said his sister, Ana Belkis Ferrer García. The dissident has been incarcerated since July 11.

The activist also said that the letter complains that since August 12, Ferrer “remains confined semi-naked in an isolation cell, in cruel, inhuman and degrading conditions” and that “on two occasions they have forceably put him in the uniform of a common prisoner. They refuse to give him his own clothes, so he’s in his underwear.” Regarding his health, she said that he had “serious problems with heartburn and constant stomach pain.”

Translated by Tomás A.


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