The UN Determines the Cases of Denis Solis and Luis Robles are Arbitrary Detentions

Denis Solís, on the right, alongside El Funky, on the day of his release this past July (El Funky/Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, October 20, 2021 — The United Nations issued a statement which concluded that rapper Denis Solís as well as Luis Robles Elizastigui, the so-called “young man with the placard”,were detained arbitrarily. The text, dated October 14th, was published Wednesday by Cuban Prisoners Defenders (CPD), the organization which denounced both cases before the Arbitrary Detentions Working Group.

The document states that for both men, the deprivation of freedom “is arbitrary, which contradicts articles 3, 5, 8, 9, 10,11 and 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

As a result, the UN Working Group urges the Cuban Government to “adopt the measures necessary to remedy the situation of Denis Solís and Luis Robles without delay, and in compliance with the relevant international norms, including those set forth in the Universal Declaration,” at the same time it requests that it ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The appropriate remedy, it continues, will not only be the immediate release of Luis Robles, but also to allow them both “the effective right to compensation and other types of reparations, in accordance with international law.”

In addition, it urges the regime to conduct “an exhaustive and independent investigation” of both cases and to “adopt relevant measures against those responsible for the violation of their rights.”

The UN also made a declaration regarding the treatment to which Denis Solís, the main subject, was subjected–to which other first offenders were also subjected for participating in the protests this past July 11th, notes the CPD–in which the judge may impose sentences “without the presence of a prosecutor, or lawyer, leaving the accused without knowledge of their judicial conviction.”

With regard to this, the Madrid-based organization reiterated that, “during summary procedures in Cuba, which are more than half of all criminal proceedings and the majority are currently political prisoners on the Island, every single one of the principles of presumption of innocence, due process and the right to an effective defense of those accused is violated.”

“Criminal and procedural legislation in Cuba is in violation of the most fundamental human rights, both the exercise of freedom and the right to justice,” it concludes.

For CPD, this determination represents “definitive support for the San Isidro Movement in its hunger strike in November of 2020” and gives “all the moral strength to the people of Cuba as they face the peaceful protests on November 15th.”

A file on Denis Solís, which included all the irregularities of his legal procedures, was sent to international organizations, including the UN, this past January by Prisoners Defenders. That same month, the NGO included Luis Robles on its list of prisoners of conscience in Cuba.

The detention and incarceration of Solís was the basis for the protests of some members of MSI, who held a hunger strike holed up in their headquarters in Old Havana which lasted over a week. From there, they were violently removed by agents dressed as health workers on November 26 2020, which provoked instead, solidarity among 300 artists who the following day gathered in front of the Ministry of Culture to demand an end to the censorship and a dialogue with authorities.

The placard held by Robles when he was detained on the Boulevard de San Rafael in Havana, last December 4th, also demanded the release of the controversial rapper.

Denis Solís was released this past July, after fully serving his eight-month sentence. Robles, for his part, remains in jail, and last week was denied for a fourth time a change of precautionary measures, provisional prison until the start of his trial, postponed sine die due to the July 11th protests.

Translated by: Silvia Suárez


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