14ymedio, Havana, 18 March 2020 — The judicial processes against the artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara are still open and the pending trial for the alleged crimes of “insult to the national symbols” and “damages” can be held at any time, according to the artist’s lawyer who spoke on Tuesday.
“The lawyer looked for a document that legally certifies my release, but all they told him was that they released me because they wanted to, without an explanation. The trial is already in the provincial court, which means that it must be held, there’s no going back”, explained Otero Alcántara to 14ymedio.
The trial, according to the explanation obtained by the lawyer, has not yet been held “due to the economic conditions of the country” which right now “does not have the infrastructure to move everything necessary.” In addition, he indicated that the law provides for the suspension of procedures for “justified” causes. “It can be any time, he tells me that both cases are open and that the trial can be any day, in a month, in two months…”
Amnesty International declared the artist a prisoner of conscience last Friday and demanded his immediate release.
Otero Alcántara was arrested on March 1 as he left his home. The first trial, for “insult against the national symbols,” was scheduled for March 11, but he was released after spending several days in detention awaiting the oral hearing.
Twenty independent press media, artists, writers and journalists, intellectuals, even some from the official sphere, joined their voices in defense of his release and a campaign in his favor gathered more than 3,000 signatures.
Cuban Police and State Security detained several people during a protest by activists demanding justice for the artist. During the annual stock-taking of the cultural sector, Miguel Díaz-Canel urged a “battle from culture and history,” something that was interpreted by some officials as an invitation to launch a campaign on social networks against Otero Alcántara, although it hardly had any impact.
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