The Courage of the Mothers of the Youth of July 11th (11J) Forces Cuban Prosecutor’s Office to Reduce the Sentences

Demonstration of activists and relatives in the Juan Delgado Park in Havana, in favor of the 11J prisoners tried in the court of Diez de Octubre this week. (Capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 3 February 2022 — On Wednesday the Prosecutor’s Office reduced this Wednesday its initial request for sentences for the six minors of 11J (July 11th) protests who are being tried this week in the Municipal Court of Diez de Octubre, in Havana. This was reported by Yudinela Castro, mother of the young Rowland Jesús Castillo, who now is one of 12 facing a request for 23 years in prison.

This decision comes when the protests of Cuban families multiply and, also, the international denunciations against the harshness of the regime towards the young protesters of last July 11.

The US Embassy in Cuba recently described the trials of the minors as “shameful,” and has repeatedly called for their immediate release. Likewise, last January the Cuban Observatory of Human Rights reported to the UN and Unicef that there are a total of 39 minors under 21 years of age detained for the 11J protests.

According to Yudinela Castro, in statements to Martí Noticias, speaking of Brandon David Becerra Curbelo, for whom they were asking for 18 years – one more year than he currently has – now weighs a request for five years of correctional work without internment.

The rest of the minors under 18 on trial have also seen their possible sentences reduced: Kendry Miranda Cárdenas and Lázaro Noel Urgelles Fajardo, 20 years and 13 years in prison, respectively, to 10 years, and Nayn Luis Marcos Molinet and Giuseppe Belaunzarán Guada, from 17 years and 13 years in prison, respectively, to 8 years.

Castillo’s mother also announced that this Thursday, the defense lawyers would request the elimination of the crime of “sedition” for which the young people are prosecuted and which is the one that supports these high sentences.

At the moment there is no additional information on the process, in which a total of 33 protesters are tried, some of them present on July 11 at the emblematic Toyo corner, where a police car ended up overturned.


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