Cuban prosecutors liken protests to sedition against July 11/12 demonstrators
Cuba’s regime Friday ratified charges were being filed against participants in the July 11 and 12 nationwide demonstrations. Prosecutors also made it clear that in the country’s legal system protests and sedition were considered to be the same offense.
During the protests, the demonstrators acted with violence against law enforcement officers, it was reported this week.
According to the Law, those persons commit the crime of sedition who in a tumultuous manner and through express or tacit agreement, with the use of extreme violence and seriously disturb to public order, Chief Prosecutor María Mederos Torres told Granma.
The Directorate of Criminal Proceedings of the Attorney General also denied accusations that the state had organized simulated trials in which defendants have no guarantees and that sentences end up being unfair and excessive.
The government body also insisted it was inaccurate to speak of the people against the police when we are all people.
For Cuba, as for any other country, in the severe conditions faced by the pandemic and its consequences, the seriousness of the events that occurred and the need to consequently apply criminal laws can be perfectly understood, Mederos Torres said.
The sanctions concerned by the Prosecutor’s Office are severe, in correspondence with the seriousness of the facts, the level of participation and the damage caused to society, appreciating the individual responsibility and the concurrent circumstances, the prosecutor went on.
The defendants are accused of causing public disorder, incitement to commit a crime, damage, robbery with force and robbery with violence, attack and sedition. Sentences can reach up to 30 years in jail, it was reported.
The authorities also admitted there were over 700 Cubans brought to the courts over these charges.
Granma also mentioned the use of incendiary objects by the protesters and the injury and bruising of police officers and citizens who confronted them.
An unarmed officer was attacked and injured, throwing stones at him that they took from the vicinity of a police station in Havana and an officer who had fallen to the ground was wounded twice in the head, with a piece of wood that had a spike on its upper end, Granma also wrote.
Police patrol cars ended up being stoned at, as were as their crews, another official was quoted by ANSA as saying. Riots occurred in several Cuban towns at the same time.
Prosecutors also argued that several people tried to break the constitutional order of the country, attacking the forces of public order and causing damage to stores and commercial establishments, among other acts of vandalism.
All defendants attended the trial with the representation of a lawyer, either hired by them or appointed by the court. Defense attorneys quoted by Granma said we have done everything in our power to defend the interests of our clients, without any intermediation.”
No children under the age of 16 has been arraigned regarding the July 11 and 12 uprisings.