14ymedio, Havana, 25 October 2021 — In another act of repression, the Mayabeque Provincial Prosecutor’s Office has requested sanctions ranging from six to 25 years for the 11J (11 July) protesters. Maikel Puig Bergolla and eight other detainees, who preferred not to make their identity public, have seen “forced some arguments to apply crimes” to them, such as attempted murder, attack and instigation to commit criminal acts, denounced the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH).
“The sentencing requests are a reflection of the vengeful spirit of the ruling regime on the island,” said the Madrid-based organization. “The use of supposed common crimes to condemn political actions is a systemic practice of the Cuban government and its repressive organs.”
The request of the Mayabeque prosecutor, Yerandy Calzadilla Dávalos, has already been submitted to the first criminal chamber of the People’s Provincial Court. The OCDH warned that the fiscal requests “are the most extreme that are known to date.”
The OCDH statement refers to “the disproportion between the crimes and the number of years in prison requested for them, a detail that also denotes the condition of Cuban justice.” And also to cases such as that of Maikel Puig Bergolla, arrested on July 12 for the crime of “public disorder,” as indicated by his wife Saily Núñez Pérez.
The request presented by prosecutor Calzadilla Dávalos with regards to Puig Bergolla, asks for a joint penalty of 25 years in prison for the crimes of instigation to commit a crime (18 years), attempted murder (10 years), public disorder (5 years) and contempt (one year and six months).
Núñez Pérez relates in a post that, during the process, things began to get complicated for her husband. “False accusations at the hands of five policemen began to appear” that allege that Puig Bergolla threw stones at the patrols, “which is not true.”
Added to the case of Puig Bergolla are several others — referred to with the initials of their names, for fear of reprisals and because the family members do not want their identity to be made public: LMVP (20 years), MDCV (20), NRC (10), YSD (15), YCP (15), DRC (5), ERL (6) and NMT (6).
The OCDH states that the repressive actions of last July have increased the number of political prisoners to numbers that have not been seen on the island since the 1980s.
Various organizations have documented more than a thousand detainees and as reported by the authorities, 62 people have been tried, mostly for the crime of public disorder — 53 of the defendants charged — although there are also accusations of “contempt,” “resistance” and “instigation to commit a crime.”
In San Antonio de los Baños, where the peaceful protests began, the Prosecutor’s Office asks, for the 17 people who are being tried, for sentences of between 6 and 12 years in prison.
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