Cuba confirms sentences of up to 18 years for 56 July 11 protesters

The Attorney General’s Office of the Republic of Cuba (FGR, for its acronym in Spanish) reported this Wednesday (22) that 74 protesters who participated in pro-democracy acts in of July of last year were sentenced to prison, 18 of which they were subsidized with correctional work, 12 of them for young people between 16 and 18 years of age, and two acquittals.

The sentences were notified on the days 16 and 21 this month by the courts of the provinces of Matanzas and Santiago of Cuba, according to a press release from the FGR.

The penalties correspond to the crimes of sedition – recurrent in the rest of the sentences against the protesters of the 11J –, public disorder, attack and contempt. A total of 56 of the 74 defendants were sentenced to sentences of up to 18 years in prison.

Five days ago, the FGR announced four final sentences against 33 participants in the protests of 12J who have filed appeals against their sanctions.

Three days earlier, it reported that the country’s courts had issued 76 sentences against 381 people for the protests.

The NGO Prisoners Defenders pointed out on the 8th that a total of 168 protesters were prosecuted exclusively for the crime of sedition and that 246 have final prison sentences of ten years or more.

At the end of May, the organization Justicia 11J informed that 519 of the 564 people tried in Cuba for the demonstrations – 168 % – were convicted and 40 are still awaiting sentence.

The Cuban Attorney General assured in January that 790 people were prosecuted, of which 55 have between 16 and 12 years.

Family members of the convicts and NGOs criticized these actions, alleging lack of guarantees, fabrication of evidence and high sentences.

The foreign press does not have access to judgments. Amnesty International has asked to be able to attend the trials.

In turn, the Supreme Court of Cuba guarantees that due process was observed in all cases opened as a result of the protests by 11J.

Prisoners Defenders, based in Madrid, points out that at least 1.046 people were trapped on the island since May for political reasons, mainly due to the events of 11 July.

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