14ymedio, Havana, 11 May 2022 — Four July 11th (11J) demonstrators in Santiago de Cuba have been sentenced to between nine and five years in prison, while a fifth, who was part of the same file, was released with a fine of 3,000 pesos. The trial was held five months ago and some of the defendants had been in pre-trial detention for ten months.
Ibrahim Ariel González Hodelin and Ronal Luis González Ramos, both 22 years old, received the highest sentences, although the Prosecutor’s Office had requested up to 15 years in prison for them for the crimes of public disorder, contempt and attack, according to Cubanet.
The two sentenced to nine years in prison were arrested in the vicinity of Paseo Martí and have been in provisional prison since June 17, according to data from Cubalex.
Joel Tor Caballero, 33, and Frank Ernesto Mourlot Speck, 29, also received five years in prison, both for the crimes of public disorder and contempt. For both, the Public Ministry requested seven years in prison.
On July 11, Caballero was on Paseo Martí when the National Revolutionary Police took the keys to his motorcycle and he began shouting slogans, according to Cubalex. His wife, Daily González, recounted in a Facebook post that they also took all his belongings. Two days later she received a text message on her cell phone: “Daily, tell Joel to call this number urgently, it’s from the provincial DTI, otherwise he won’t be able to drive anymore.”
In this way he was summoned and arrested, according to his testimony. “Around 1:30 pm a patrol arrived and he was forced to get in, they did not allow me to accompany him, they told me not to worry that they would only interview him and he would return home after three days at most.” However, since that day Caballero has been in the Boniato prison.
“They just killed the illusion I had when I received the news that 10 months of being separated were not enough, but that five years still await us,” González wrote on May 5, when the conviction, dated May 3, was made public.
One of the five, Idalberto Fonden Roma, 24, was the only one released with a fine of 3,000 pesos. For him, the Prosecutor’s Office requested two years in prison for the crime of disobedience.
The sentences of up to 12 years for some 15 demonstrators in Palma Soriano, in Santiago de Cuba, who also participated in the peaceful protests of July 11 last year, were also recently made public.
The latest report by Prisoners Defenders (PD) indicates that there were 1,015 political prisoners in Cuba as of April 2022. The document highlights that in the last 12 months, since May 1 of last year, some 1,218 people have suffered political imprisonment and around 874 remain in prison for the July 11 protests.
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 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.