A total of 45 people, among them two minors, are to be tried as of Monday in Cuba in connection with the July 11 protests, according to data compiled by activists.
The J11 Justice Collective assures that there will be three trials, to be held in Mayabeque and Havana, and that for some of the accused up to 20 years in prison are being requested.
The Cuban judicial authorities do not usually report on the legal proceedings, which are also not reported by the official media. Moreover, the hearings are not public and the international media have no opportunity to cover them.
The largest of the trials is the one taking place in the Tribunal Municipal Popular 10 de Octubre in Havana, Cuba, where 23 people are being tried until Friday on a common cause with requests of up to 20 years of imprisonment.
In this trial, activists have detected that two of the accused are 17 years old. The prosecution is asking for 15 years in prison for both of them. EFE news agency requested a position on the matter from the regional office of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and so far has not received a response.
In the western province of Mayabeque two trials are taking place this week, both in the Municipal Court of San José de las Lajas. In the first, between Monday and Wednesday, 15 people face up to 14 years in prison; in the second, on Thursday, 7 people face sentences of up to 15 years.
Several NGOs have denounced the lack of guarantees, fabricated evidence and very high sentences for the defendants in these trials for the events of July 11.
Post-July 11 repression
According to Prisoners Defenders, a Spanish NGO that defends human rights in Cuba, at least 842 people were in prison on the island at the end of 2021 for political reasons, in most cases for the events of July 11. Among them, the NGO assures that there are 26 children between 14 and 17 years old.
For its part, the Cuban NGO, Cubalex, has identified in its latest count a total of 1,377 detainees as a result of July 11 and another 94 for the frustrated protest of November 15. Of these, 727 (of whom 15 are minors) are still under arrest. Another 361 have been tried in summary or ordinary proceedings.
The NGO Observatorio Cubano de Derechos Humanos (OCDH) recently denounced before the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) the situation of 39 minors under 21 years of age “imprisoned in Cuba for peaceful protest.”
Last July 11, the largest protests against the dictatorship in decades took place in Cuba, spontaneous and massive demonstrations linked to the serious economic crisis the country is going through.