14ymedio, Havana, 7 June 2021 — The young man Maig Wong Jiménez was violently detained this Saturday while eating ice cream in Havana’s El Vedado, when he was walking in front of Mariana Grajales Park, located on 23rd avenue, between C and D. Wong Jiménez, 23, was intercepted by several uniformed officers who, first, asked for his identification, and then that he accompany them to a police station.
The young man asked why they were taking him to the station and, when he received no response, he refused to accompany the agents. According to the testimony of activist Juan Antonio Madrazo Luna, who witnessed the events, “suddenly the policemen pushed his face to the ground” and handcuffed him.
“He shouted ’help, help, someone help me’. The whole of 23rd Street began to fill with people. Some women yelled at the police not to abuse him and not to beat him,” Madrazo tells 14ymedio.
The young man was fined 1,000 pesos and returned home without charges, but insists that he is going to report his arrest because of the violence of which he was a victim. Madrazo had denounced the event on his social networks and had no further news of the young man until this Sunday, when he received his visit accompanied by his family. “They were also looking for a couple who had recently been detained by the officers and who from afar were able to film all the violence with which the police acted,” he says.
The activist insists that Wong Jiménez was beaten inside the patrol car and at the station, according to his testimony. At the time of being intercepted by the police, the attacked man activated his cell phone’s recorder and was able to record in audio everything that he experienced.
Once at the Zapata and C police station, he was transferred to the dungeon, where he was told that he could be accused of contempt and spreading the epidemic. According to the activist, Wong Jiménez’s father and sister came there to seek information and the girl was able to see him. Officers tried to influence the young woman by telling her that if she did not report what happened, they would remove the contempt charge.
“His idea is to file an accusation before the Military Prosecutor’s Office,” says Madrazo.
In Cuba, complaints following violent police arrests against ordinary citizens seldom make it onto social media.
According to the penal code, the crime of contempt occurs when a person offends “an authority, public official, or his agents or assistants, in the exercise of their functions.” The sanction foreseen for these cases contemplates the deprivation of liberty for three to nine months.
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