Prisoners Defenders Counts More than a Thousand Political Prisoners in Cuba in the Last Year

Dozens of detainees have been released in recent months, but with fines of “exaggerated amounts for Cuba.” (Santa Clara Court/Saily Gonzalez)

14ymedio biggerEUROPA PRESS (via 14ymedio), 7 February 2022 — Prisoners Defenders estimates that there have been 1,054 political prisoners in Cuba in the last 12 months, compared to the 137 as of February 2021, according to data made public this Monday.

Currently, the organization has 932 convicted political prisoners verified, but has warned that this figure “is only a fraction, between 50 and 60% of the real figures,” whose total verification is “simply unattainable by any organization.” At least 120 women are political prisoners in Cuba.

Of these 932, Prisoners Defenders has verified that 794 are prisoners of the 11J protests. Dozens of detainees have been released in recent months, but with fines of “exaggerated amounts for Cuba,” they reported.

Of the prisoners related to the repression of the protests, Prisoners Defenders has indicated that at least 32 are minors – 28 boys and four girls. One is 13 years old; three are 15;  nine are 16 years; and 21 are 17 years old.

In addition, of the 16 under the age of 18, 50% have been charged with sedition. Prisoners Defenders has denounced that among them there are children with “impairments and mental retardation incompatible with violence and much less with sedition.”

“Cuba is shattering its signing of and ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, imprisoning and destroying youth, bringing terror to families throughout the country and wildly causing irreparable pain to all those imprisoned and in their families and close friends,” lamented Prisoners Defenders.

In total, 166 verified political prisoners have been prosecuted on charges of sedition and at least 511 prisoners have already been sentenced. Of them, 194 with sentences of more than ten years, for 38%.

The organization has recognized, as it does every month, the other 11,000 young civilians who do not belong to opposition organizations, 8,400 of them convicted. There are 2,538 convicted of ’pre-criminal dangerousness’, with average sentences of two years and ten months in prison. In other words, these young people have not committed any crime, but – as the Penal Code verbatim indicates in its article 76.1 for these 11,000 – the Penal Code  contemplates that they would be people likely to commit crimes in the future “because of the conduct that they observe in manifest contradiction with the norms of socialist morality. “Thus, they impose sentences of between one and four years in prison without a crime being investigated or committed.

Prisoners Defenders has maintained that in the July events more than 5,000 people were arrested and more than 1,500 prosecuted. “In addition to our sources and studies, the data, the facts and the Prosecutor’s Office itself contribute to making this assertion increasingly palpable,” it indicates.

“For now, the regime recognizes that it has prosecuted 115 defendants who ’are between 16 and 20 years of age,’ and that ’55 are between 16 and 18 years of age’,” it concludes.


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