Cuba: human rights activists criticize punishment of protesters | free press

Such massive anti-government protests in Cuba hadn’t happened in decades. As a result, many protesters were sentenced to prison terms. Human rights activists criticize this.

Havana (AP) – Following the recent massive protests against the socialist government in Cuba, numerous arrested protesters are being sentenced to prison terms in an express trial, according to information from human rights activists.

The regional head of the human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW), José Miguel Vivanco, wrote on Twitter.

“The messages we are receiving from Cuba are bleak,” Vivanco wrote. Hundreds of protesters are locked up. Police and military patrolled the streets of the Caribbean island. Numerous activists and journalists are under house arrest. On July 11, thousands of Cubans demonstrated in numerous cities for freedom, against oppression and an economy of scarcity. There had been no such protests in the Caribbean country for decades.

The photographer Anyelo Troya, who shot the video of the protest song “Patria y Vida” (Fatherland and Life) in the capital Havana, was sentenced to a year in prison for “public unrest” during his participation in the protests against the government-critical news portal ” 14ymedio” reported, citing relatives. A dozen other young people would have received the same sentence.

The Cuban government accused the United States of being behind the demonstrations. Secretary of State Bruno Rodríguez wrote on Twitter that the US government is currently putting “brutal pressure” on a group of Organization of American States (OAS) countries to sign a statement against the Cuban government’s actions. The Cuban economy is suffering from the slump in tourism during the corona pandemic and from US sanctions. There is a lack of food and medicine. In addition, the corona figures have risen sharply in recent times.

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