HRW presents comprehensive report on repression in Cuba after 9/11

An “exhaustive report” on the “brutal repression of the Cuban regime” against the protesters who took to the streets on July 11 to demand a change of government on the island will be presented this Tuesday in Miami by Human Rights Watch (HRW), the organization reported.

The report is based on court documents and on more than 150 interviews with “victims and relatives located” on the island, detailed yesterday José Miguel Vivanco, director for the Americas of HRW, based in New York.

The presentation of the document will take place at the Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College (MDC), on the 100 day anniversary of the social outbreak that occurred at the same time in several provinces and more than 50 Cuban cities, something unprecedented in more than 60 years of communist government on the island.

Focusing on “the repression of the Cuban regime against the protesters,” the document examines in detail what happened to the detainees during the protests, according to the announcement, and documents cases of arbitrary detentions “in dire conditions, serious mistreatment during detention, and trials. abusive criminal offenses that violate the most basic guarantees of due process ”, affirms Human Right Watch.

Human Rights Watch, founded in 1978 and with 400 members around the world, is a nongovernmental organization known for accurate fact-finding and impartial reporting.

On July 11, thousands of Cubans spontaneously took to the streets in the largest anti-government protests in six decades on the island, which resulted in hundreds of arrests (more than a thousand, according to activists) and numerous prison sentences.

The response of the Cuban government received strong criticism from international organizations such as Amnesty International and HRW, as well as the European Union and the United States, considering that arbitrary arrests and criminal proceedings took place without adequate legal guarantees for the detainees, among others. irregularities.

“The constant and repeated patterns of abuse by multiple security forces, in multiple places in Cuba, suggest a plan by the Cuban authorities to suppress the demonstrations,” says HRW.

The report also refers to President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s call for supporters and security forces to respond violently to the protests, as well as to the Internet outages that took place across the country that day and the following.

Human Rights Watch details that agents repeatedly detained peaceful protesters and bystanders, and prevented people from protesting by arresting critics as they addressed the demonstrations. More than 1,000 people were arrested, and about half remain in prison, according to the independent legal monitoring group Cubalex.

Diubis Laurencio Tejeda, a 36-year-old Cuban, died on July 12 during a demonstration in La Güinera, a low-income neighborhood on the outskirts of Havana. The Cuban Observatory for Human Rights, a non-governmental organization, said a police officer shot him in the back. No one has been held responsible for the death.

Human Rights Watch research indicates that the July demonstrations were overwhelmingly peaceful. Many protesters chanted “Freedom!” or “Homeland and life”. In the 130 cases documented by the organization, Cuban authorities accused only a handful of detainees of participating in violent acts, most of the time throwing stones during protests. In most of these cases, the detainees or their relatives denied having committed acts of violence, and in all of them the criminal proceedings were marred by serious violations of due process and the sentences requested or imposed by the Cuban authorities against the detainees seem excessive.

Detainees were violently arrested, held incommunicado for days or even weeks and, in some cases, ill-treated during their detention. Some were forced to squat naked, deliberately sleep deprived, beaten and held in cells without natural light where they say they lost track of time. Others were threatened with reprisals against them or their families for the simple act of protesting in the streets.

In solidarity with those repressed on June 11, the Archipiélago virtual platform has called a peaceful march in Havana for next November 15.

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