60 Cubans prosecuted so far over protests

HAVANA (AFP) – About 60 Cubans have been prosecuted so far for participating in unprecedented demonstrations against the government earlier this month, a senior official said on Saturday.

The cases were over minor charges, and the total number of people detained has not been released amid complaints from relatives seeking information about loved ones.

“Until yesterday, 19 judicial processes had reached the municipal courts of the country – cases involving 59 people accused of committing alleged crimes (during) these disturbances,” president of the Supreme Court Ruben Remigio Ferro told reporters.

On July 11 and 12, thousands of Cubans took to the streets, shouting “Freedom”, “Down with the dictatorship” and “We’re hungry” in the biggest protests since the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power in 1959.

Hundreds of people were arrested and many face charges of contempt, public disorder, vandalism and propagation of the coronavirus epidemic for allegedly marching without face masks.

Independent observers and activists have published lists of those arrested with at least 600 names on them.

Ferro said a faster trial system was being used to prosecute the accused, but made assurances that due process was being followed.

File photo shows a man being arrested during a demonstration against the government of Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Havana. PHOTO: AFP