Prisoners Defenders Raises the Number of Political Prisoners in Cuba to 1,092 After the March Protests

The organization indicated that in March alone it added 31 people to its list, of them 24 linked to the demonstrations

Image of the protests of March 17 in Santiago de Cuba / Facebook / Rompiendo Cadenas

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Madrid, 11 April  2024 — The NGO Prisoners Defenders (PD) reported this Thursday that at the end of last month it registered 1,092 people imprisoned for political reasons in Cuba, twenty more than in its February report, almost all linked to the March protests.

The organization, based in Madrid, indicated that last month it added 31 individuals to its list that it classifies as political prisoners and that another six were removed from the registry after being released.

According to PD, 24 of the 31 political prisoners were linked to “the peaceful March demonstrations” that began on March 17 in Santiago de Cuba when hundreds of people peacefully took to the streets to protest.

Initially they protested the blackouts and lack of food shouting “power and food,” but “freedom” and “Patria y Vida” (Homeland and Life) were also heard, a motto of the anti-government demonstrations of 11 July 2021, the largest in decades. Shortly after, similar events occurred in other towns, among which El Cobre, Bayamo and Santa Marta stood out.

The next day, unofficial media and social networks showed other demonstrations, mainly in Bayamo and El Cobre, where dozens of people gathered in front of a police station where several detainees in the protests had been taken.

The report published on the NGO’s website explained that 30 minors remain on its list of political prisoners

The report published on the NGO’s website explained that 30 minors remain on its list of political prisoners, of which 28 are serving sentences and two are being criminally prosecuted. The minimum criminal age in Cuba is 16 years.

PD denounced that “16 of the minors have already been convicted of sedition,” with an average sentence of five years of deprivation of liberty, the majority under a regime of “home confinement or forced labor without internment.”

The statement added that 225 people – mostly convicted of participating in the anti-government protests of July 11, 2021 – have been charged with sedition, and at least 222 have already been sentenced, to an average of ten years in prison.

According to PD, there are also 119 prisoners (including several transgender ones) who “still have political and conscientious convictions and orders.”

“All trans women of conscience in prison have been and are imprisoned among men, which also happens with common trans prisoners, suffering situations, among men, indescribable for their sexual condition,” PD denounced.


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.