Dozens of Cuban protesters face trial this week, relatives say | Protest News

Demonstrators were detained during unprecedented July protests over food shortages, price hikes and other grievances.

At least 57 protesters arrested in Cuba last year Unprecedented wave of demonstrations Relatives say they plan to stand trial this week.

Some protesters face up to 30 years in prison, relatives said on Tuesday.

Roxana Garcia, the sister of defendant Andy Dunier Garcia, 24, said she was told the trial was expected to last three to four days. Her brother was charged in Santa Clara with public disorder, assault and contempt for authority.

Defense attorneys appeared to be doing a good job, she said, adding that the only witnesses against the defendants were “the police officers who beat them.”

In Havana, the Cuban capital, Aquilin Cruz said her 20-year-old son, Daryl Cruz, was facing indictment for 15 years in prison for sedition – an attempt to overthrow the legitimate government. She said her son was recently stabbed in prison.

Cuban police detain protestersPlainclothes police detain protesters during July demonstrations against high prices, food shortages and power outages [File: Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo]

Relatives said 21 people would be charged in the eastern city of Holguin, 20 in Havana and 16 in Santa Clara.

Protests erupt across Cuba July 11-12 When thousands of people took to the streets to protest shortage of food, rising prices and economic hardship. Some also called for a change of government.

Officials were initially caught off guard, but later moved to detain hundreds of protesters. At least one person died and several shops and vehicles were damaged or burned over the two days.

Cuban authorities have never released the official number of arrests during the protests, although court officials said in August that 23 expedited trials had been held against 67 defendants facing lesser charges, including public order.

Since then, prosecutors have formally charged other defendants with more serious charges, such as sedition, said Salom Garcia of Justice 11J, a group that has members in Cuba and abroad trying to track detainees’ cases .

The group said 1,334 people had been confirmed in custody, 223 had been convicted on various charges and another 231 faced charges. It said 98 people had been fined.

The group said the initial detainees included 48 people under the age of 18 — the age of criminal responsibility in Cuba is 16 — although some have since been released.

Justice 11J’s list of cases shows some of Olgin’s face 30 years in prison on the same charges Dariel Cruz faced in trying to overthrow the legitimate government.

Several relatives said they had been told that one family member of each accused would be allowed into the courtroom.

Cuban authorities have acknowledged that some of the complaints made during the protests were justified.

but they blame the US true power The people behind the demonstrations, which appear to have been mobilized in part under a recent mandate social media network.

Washington, which denies it played a role in the protests, later imposed sanctions on Cuban officials it said were complicit in the crackdown on demonstrations in Havana.

Last week, the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden Eight Cuban government officials banned Entered the country on allegations they were involved in the abuse of protesters.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken accused targeted Cuban officials of “trying to silence the voice of the Cuban people through repression, unjust detention and harsh imprisonment.”

About 600 Cuban protesters remained in custody, including some with deteriorating health and lack of access to proper food or medicine, Blinken said.

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