Cuban justice recognized on Tuesday for the first time that 710 participants in the historic demonstrations of July 11, 2021 are being prosecuted for “acts of vandalism” and “serious disturbances of public order”, and 172 others already sentenced.
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“The prosecution received (…) 117 preparatory files corresponding to the most serious facts, with 790 people prosecuted for acts of vandalism against the authorities, persons and property, as well as serious disturbances of public order” , according to a statement published in the official newspaper Granma, stating that 21% of them had criminal records.
The charges were dropped for some of them and 710 are now awaiting trial, including 55 aged between 16 and 18, and the majority (69%) are in “pretrial detention”.
In addition, 84 trials have already taken place, with “172 defendants convicted”, indicates the prosecution, without giving details of the sentences.
In Cuba, the legal majority is at 18, but criminal responsibility applies from 16 years old.
Regarding “those under 16, who are not subject to criminal law in Cuba”, the prosecution notes the participation of 27 of them in the demonstrations, of which “10 were admitted to schools of integral training and good conduct” and 17 received “personalized attention in their school”.
To cries of “Freedom” and “We are hungry”, thousands of Cubans demonstrated on July 11, 2021, the first time since the revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1959. The rallies left one dead and dozens injured. Of the 1,377 people arrested, 727 are still in prison, according to the NGO Cubalex.
The communist government says these protests were orchestrated from the United States.
At least 39 participants are on trial this week and face up to 26 years in prison, said Monday the group Justicia 11J, which monitors all cases related to these mobilizations.
On Twitter, the American Embassy in Havana criticized Tuesday “the excessive sentences against peaceful and innocent young people” and assured: “We all listen to the families when they speak about these violations of justice”. “They will not be able to crush the demands of the people for a better future,” she added.
For its part, the package denounced a “tendent” campaign that “wants to accuse Cuba of human rights violations, trying to discredit the judicial processes” in progress, and affirmed that “the determination to accuse (some demonstrators ) of the offense of sedition, even if the law provides for severe penalties, corresponds to the level of violence demonstrated” during these demonstrations.