Hundreds of Cubans remain imprisoned for participating in island-wide protests on 11 July 2021. The Cuban judiciary, which is not independent of the government, routinely rubberstamps politically motivated accusations without regard for fair trial guarantees. Among those unjustly convicted are Black activists, and leaders of the Yoruba religion, Loreto Hernández García and Donaida Pérez Paseiro, who are prisoners of conscience detained only because of their political beliefs, and who should be immediately and unconditionally released.
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President of the Republic of Cuba
Hidalgo, Esquina 6. Plaza de la Revolución
La Habana, CP 10400, Cuba
Email: [email protected]
Embassy of Cuba
2630 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
Phone: 202 797 8515
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @EmbaCubaUS @Lianystr
Dear President of Díaz-Canel,
I write to call for the immediate and unconditional release of Loreto Hernández García and Donaida Pérez Paseiro, both Black activists, and leaders of the Yoruba religion in Cuba, an African diaspora religion practiced in Cuba.
According to a court document that Amnesty International reviewed, Loreto Hernández García and Donaida Pérez Paseiro were sentenced to 7 and 8 years in prison, respectively following their peaceful participation in demonstrations on 11 July 2021. They were wrongly convicted of “contempt” and “public disorder”, and in the case of Donaida, “assaulting” a state official.
The activists and religious leaders were imprisoned following an unfair trial, lacking in evidence, and sentenced in a judgement which repeatedly refers to the protester’s political opposition to the government, which should have no bearing in a criminal case. The charges against them should never have been brought.
Loreto’s health is fragile, and the authorities must take all necessary measures to provide him with adequate independent medical care.
I call on the Cuban authorities to release Loreto Hernandez Garcia and Donaida Pérez Paseiro immediately and unconditionally and to take all necessary measures to guarantee them redress for the violation of their human rights, including the discrimination they have suffered.