Persecution in Cuba: Regime Tries Another 15 9/11 Protesters Who Face Up to 13 Years in Prison

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They are accused of throwing “stones, bottles, logs and other items” at the Police and shouting anti-regime slogans

Persecution in Cuba: the regime tries another 15 9/11 protesters who face sentences of up to 13 years

Policemen without uniforms detain a person during anti-government protests in Havana (REUTERS)

A total of 15 protesters from the anti-government protests of the July 11, 2021 in Cuba -the largest in decades- they are tried this Wednesday by a court in Havana for “attack, public disorder, contempt and incitement to commit a crime”and they face penalties of up to 13 years in prison.

According to the prosecutor's request, to which the news agency EFE has had access and is dated December 30 of last year, the defendants carried out actions “of unlimited violence”.

According to the letter, they are accused of throwing “stones, bottles, logs and other items” to the Police and shout slogans against the regime of Miguel Díaz-Canel.

The defendants range from 17 to 51 years old. The minimum criminal age on the island is 16 years.

Persecution in Cuba: the regime tries 15 other 9/11 protesters who face up to 13 years in prison

Cuban police detain a person during protests against the Castro regime (REUTERS)

The youngest protester in the trial is Jonathan Torres, who was 17 on the day of the facts. He is one of the 55 people between the ages of 16 and 17 who are facing criminal proceedings for the events of 11J, as confirmed by the Prosecutor's Office.

Torres, specifically, faces an accusation of “public disorder” and “attack”, for which an eight-year prison sentence is requested. His mother, Bárbara Farrat Guillén, appears on the list of witnesses who will testify during the trial, which is expected to end tomorrow.

In addition, the sister of one of the defendants, Yesenia Díaz, was arrested on November 15 when she tried -along with other family members detained or held in their homes by the Police- to go to the US embassy in Cuba to hold a meeting with US officials who were visiting, as activists reported.

Proceedings against protesters

The trials against the protesters of July 11, 2021 have been taking place in Cuba since the end of that year. Relatives of the convicted and NGOs have criticized these processes, alleging lack of guarantees, fabrication of evidence and high sentences. Foreign media have no access to the trials. Amnesty International requested -unsuccessfully- to be able to attend the processes.

For its part, the Cuban Supreme Court ensures that due process has been observed in all open cases.

Persecution in Cuba: Regime tries 15 other 9/11 protesters who face up to 13 years in prison

The police detain a protester (AP/Ramon Espinosa)

According to the NGO Cubalex and the Justicia 11J collective, after last year's protests a total of 639 sentences have been handed down, some with up to 30 years in prison.

Since July of this year there have been protests throughout the country, especially between the end of September and the beginning of October due to the frequent and prolonged blackouts, and the management of the effects of Hurricane Ian on the national electrical system.

The Cuban Conflict Observatory ( OCC), based in Miami, counted 589 protests in October, 5 more than those registered in July 2021.

The Cuban Attorney General's Office warned in October that it is investigating the recent protests and that the criminal acts “will receive the corresponding criminal legal response.”

(With information from EFE)< /p>

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