14ymedio, Havana, 27 November 2021 — Last Thursday, the Municipal Court of Los Arabos, in Matanzas, sentenced the opposition José Hernández López to one year in prison for the events of 15N (15 November), according to information from the opponent Martha Beatriz Roque speaking to 14ymedio. The former ’Black Spring’ political prisoner explained that the activist was prosecuted for the crimes of attack and contempt, and not for disobedience, as the prosecution had initially indicated.
Hernández López was one of those arrested in a park in Los Arabos when he took to the streets on November 15 wearing a white shirt. A police officer approached him to demand that he change his clothes but the activist refused and the officer proceeded to arrest him.
The Archipiélago platform had called a “Civic March for Change” on that date, which was joined by activists and citizens, but the few who managed to go out on the streets that day were arrested. Most suffered a strong surveillance by State Security and a police cordon around their homes.
According to the opponent and independent trade unionist Iván Hernández Carrillo speaking to Radio Martí, the court where Hernández López was tried “was taken over by the Military Forces of the Political Police and the National Police, in addition to paramilitaries and rapid response brigades and no access to family members was allowed.
Hernández Carrillo, who was convicted during the Black Spring of 2003, considers it “unacceptable” that the international community continues to observe the violations committed by the island’s regime and that “they do not take serious measures with the Cuban dictatorship.”
Another of those arrested and sentenced for the day of 15N is Humberto Bello, who was processed in a summary and secret trial, in which he has been sentenced to one year in jail. The Cubalex legal information center has compiled a database of those convicted in relation to 11J (11 July) and 15N, and has demanded “immediate dismissal” of all the cases in the hands of the Prosecutor’s Office.
Cubalex and the Justice 11 platform have also asked for the support of civil society, as well as that of the independent press and all those who can share information and details of these judicial processes in order to denounce them and sensitize the international community to the issue of political prisoners in Cuba.
To date, these organizations have documented 1,283 detainees as a result of the July 11 demonstrations. Of that total, at least 540 are still in prison and they report that they have verified 42 convictions in summary trials.
In the report, Cubalex showed special concern about “the use of the charge of sedition to impose exemplary sanctions on at least 122 people” and noted that before July 11, Cuban Prisoners Defenders registered 152 political prisoners.
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