Authorities in Cuba begin to punish young protesters in summary trials

Cuban authorities have begun prosecuting members in the latest unprecedented anti-government demonstrations in summary trials that began this week, members of the family and activists instructed the Miami Herald.

Young individuals, even minors, have been among the many important targets.

Photographer Anyelo Troya, 25, was tried on Tuesday and sentenced to one yr in jail below “public disorder” prices, members of the family and activists instructed the Herald.

“They didn’t let me see him,” stated his mom, Raiza Gonzalez, in a short cellphone interview.

After she realized that her son was being held in the dreaded “100 and Aldabo” police station on Monday, she went to search for a lawyer. But after they returned on Tuesday to see him, it was too late.

“When we arrived, we were told he was being tried in a Diez de Octubre court [on the other end of Havana]. We rushed, but we got there too late; he was already tried along with 10 other” young protesters, she stated.

“Where is the right of my son Anyelo Troya González to have a transparent trial?” Gonzalez wrote on Facebook. “ I am befuddled by the reality that I am living in.”

Troya labored in the manufacturing of the video of the viral tune “Patria y Vida,” that includes members of the San Isidro artist-activist motion. The tune rapidly turned an anti-government anthem, and 1000’s of demonstrators chanted “Patria y Vida” — Homeland and Life — in a number of cities throughout the protests.

Dance pupil Amanda Celaya, 17, can be tried Thursday, authorities instructed members of the family.

“Finally, my niece Amanda Hernández Celaya was released last night to remain at home until Thursday 22, when she will be brought to trial. What is she accused of? ‘Public disorder,’ ” unbiased journalist Miriam Celaya wrote on Facebook.

Cuban acitivist Miriam Celaya, heart, met with President Barack Obama on the U.S. Embassy in Havana when he visited the island in March 2016. Celaya’s niece was arrested by Cuban authorities after the July 11 protests.

Miriam Celaya instructed the Herald her niece was arrested on Sunday in Havana as a result of she was seen recording the demonstrations together with her cellphone. “She is not involved in politics. Apparently, she was just recording the demonstration with her cellphone,” she stated.

Camila Lobón, a visible artist and activist who has been serving to to affirm particulars of these arrested, stated in a cellphone interview that she is conscious of one other two instances of protesters who can be tried quickly: Alexander Diego Gil, an actor, and Randy Arteaga.

“Arteaga was detained in Villa Clara, and he is the only child of an elderly couple. He is their only provider; they don’t have money to pay for a lawyer,” Lobón stated. “They don’t even have a phone, so activists have to go to their house to communicate with them.

“It is a precarious situation for many families,” she added. “There’s ignorance of what they should do, legally. There’s helplessness and there’s fear, because many fear authorities would retaliate if they speak out.”

Summary trials, which started in the early days of the revolution, aren’t a factor of the previous in Cuba. They have been used in instances involving dissidents and other people allegedly breaking COVID-19 authorities restrictions.

“It is an express procedure for minor crimes,” stated Cuban lawyer Laritza Diversent. “In summary trials, the time of ordinary proceedings can be cut in half. Someone can be sent to trial anytime between 2 and 45 days. The sentence is handed down orally; there is almost no documentation of the whole process, making any appeal difficult. It is very arbitrary.”

It is unclear why some demonstrators have been launched whereas others can be tried. Authorities contend these charged had dedicated violent crimes, and plenty of had a previous police report, however that doesn’t match the profile of a few of the individuals like Celaya and Troya at the moment being held.

“The fact that they are charging people with public disorder shows they were just peaceful protesters and did not commit any crimes,” Lobón stated in a cellphone interview.

She stated public-disorder prices are often used towards dissidents and activists like her that take part in public demonstrations towards the federal government. She was one of many young artists arrested after a protest in entrance of the Ministry of Culture final yr. She says that police and state safety officers have prevented her from leaving her home for the previous 29 days.

“So far, there are 537 documented detentions. They could not all be involved in ‘acts of vandalism,’ “ she said, in reference to the version peddled by the Cuban government.

Several videos published on social media by Cubans on the island have documented how police, military officials and pro-government mobs beat the demonstrators. Some videos show officers shooting at protesters.

But on state TV, the official version has been the opposite.

Moraima Bravet Garófalo, a colonel in the Interior Ministry, said the demonstrations were violent and “were carried out with the use of stones and knives, such as machetes, to attack law enforcement.” State tv has proven photos solely of overturned police automobiles or individuals looting a authorities greenback retailer that sells much-needed meals and requirements.

The colonel additionally stated that minors weren’t going to be prosecuted. Although Cuba’s age of majority is 18, the nation’s legal guidelines enable for charging these 16 and older. Those between 17 and 20, like Celaya, serve their sentences in separate jail amenities or completely different jail wings.

Government officers additionally denied Tuesday that there have been individuals “missing” or “tortured” on the island, and stated the listing of detainees compiled by activists and worldwide human rights organizations was false.

The denial got here after a press release by a college pupil, Leonardo Romero, made the rounds on social media.

Romero instructed a pro-government youth publication, La Joven Cuba, that law enforcement officials beat him after his arrest on Sunday in Havana.

“They took me to the Dragones station and when we entered, they threw me violently on the floor and four people kicked me all over,” he stated. “I covered my face with my forearms and they kept kicking me. That’s why I have a swollen forearm, a doctor saw it. My ribs also hurt.”

Romero stated he was then taken to a courtyard, the place one other officer hit him on his legs with a wood plank. Then, earlier than he was transferred to one other police station, a special officer headbutted him on the nostril, saying he did it as a result of Romero was a “mercenary.”

“I almost fainted, and they kept beating me before transferring me to the Zanja station,” Romero stated.

The proven fact that his feedback had been printed on a web site that used to assault dissidents alerts how widespread is the discontent in direction of the federal government’s crackdown on young protesters.

The Herald couldn’t independently confirm Romero’s testimony. After his case was talked about on state tv Tuesday, he instructed buddies he was not doing any extra media interviews in the interim. Without mentioning his title, a authorities prosecutor stated that his case was being investigated after his father made a proper criticism with Cuba’s lawyer common’s workplace.

Lobón stated the listing of detainees she helps to compile and fact-check is predicated on data supplied by members of the family and buddies, and challenged the federal government to launch the official variety of arrests following the islandwide protests.

“The Cuban legal system is a black hole, and when you fall through it, you’re helpless,” she stated. “Most people arrested did not commit any crimes, but they want to make a public example of them. The summary trials have just started, but there are many more to come.”

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