Urgent call for the situation of political prisoners in the Republic of Cuba

Six months after the massive demonstrations of July 11, 2021 more than 800  Cubans have been arrested for participating in peaceful protests against the government. Currently, they are being tried in various courts in the country in sham trials on charges of contempt, public disorder, incitement to commit a crime, attack and in some cases charges as serious as sedition, which can carry sentences of up to 30 years in prison.

In recent weeks, some twenty people have received sentences ranging from 12 to 30 years in prison for participating in the July 11th demonstrations, some of which are twice the age of the demonstrators. According to data pertaining to politically motivated arrests compiled by the Foundation for Pan American Democracy’s Center of Incident Reporting, about 150 people have been brought to trial in the last two weeks.

Currently, more than 700 people remain imprisoned after participating in the July protests and some 500 were released pending trial or after receiving minor sanctions or fines. For context, Cuba currently has more political prisoners than Venezuela and Nicaragua combined. 

Due to the severity of the judicial authorities and the absence of procedural guarantees and impartiality, in addition to the specific violations of Article 6 (fair trial) and 11 (freedom of assembly) of the International Human Rights Charter, we ask the Government of the Netherlands and the European Union to:

  • clearly condemn Cuban authorities for human rights violations in Cuba and demand the release of all political prisoners.
  • target sanctions on public officials who are related to these summary proceedings against peaceful demonstrators and for human rights violations.
  • request diplomatic missions in Cuba to participate as observers in judicial proceedings against political prisoners.
  • Call an urgent meeting to suspend the PDCA for violation of essential elements of the referred agreement in accordance with article 8 of the same.