Cuba: prisoners on hunger strike as mass trials begin


Reports from opposition activists in Cuba indicate that trials are opening in several cities for some 60 who were arrested during last year’s protest wave that began July 11, now popularly known as “11J.” The defendants are said to include at least five minors as young as 16. Those facing charges of “sedition” could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. More than 620 detainees are ultimately to stand trial over the 11J protests. Ten prisoners in Holguin who were already convicted and face high sentences are reported to have started a hunger strike. Sentences in their cases are expected next month. Trials are also said to be underway in Santa Clara, Mayabeque and Havana. (NYT, Al Jazeera, Havana Times)

Photo: Havana Times

  1. Cuban dissidents forced into exile

    Cuban dissident historian Carolina Barrero¬†forced into exile on 48 hours notice, apparently on an explicit threat that if she didn’t comply that other of her arrested¬†comrades would not be released. Barrero, arrested by State Security agents while socializing in a park in Havana’s¬†El Vedado district on Jan. 28. Upon arrival in Spain she noted the irony that her arrest came on the birthday of¬†Jos√© Mart√≠.¬†Barrero is affiliated with the group Damas de Blanco, several of whose leaders remain under de facto house arrest, their homes surrounded by police around the clock. (CiberCuba)

    Yunior García of the Archipiélago dissident network similarly went into exile in Spain in November, apparently after escaping such de facto house arrest. (Al Jazeera)

  2. Cuba: Ladies in White opposition leader arrested

    The leader of the Cuban dissident network¬†Damas de Blanco, Berta Soler, ¬†and her husband, √Āngel Moya, were detained in Havaa, according to reports on social media. (EFE)