Prosecutor requests 18 years in prison for a 20-year-old July 11th protestor. Mother: ‘His life has been destroyed’
HAVANA TIMES – Cuban mom Caridad Castro Ruiz asks for justice and freedom for her 20-year-old son, Kevin Damian Frometa Castro, detained for participating in the protests on July 11 in Havana. The Provincial Prosecutor’s Office requests 18 years in prison for the alleged crime of “sedition”.
“How do you explain to a child, who is not a criminal, who has been raised from the love of the family…, that has not killed anyone, that has not raped, that he will he spend his next 18 years behind bars?” asked his mother, mired in tears, in a video published by Justicia 11J (see below).
The group noted that Kevin Damián Castro Ruiz was 19 years old at the time of the events. He turned 20 in prison on October 15.
“How does a mother live with this pain? Where is the justice in Cuba? I believed that we lived in a safe country, in a country where we could grow, where there was benevolence and unfortunately, I have hit myself in the face with this brutal sentence. How can anyone sleep peacefully in the face of so much injustice?”
“My pain is that of all the Cuban mothers who are going through this. My son is a good boy, a good neighbor, a worker, who used to make coffee for his neighbors, who liked Cuban movies. Now they have destroyed my life, his, and to all of us. I ask for justice for my son, I ask for freedom,” she concluded.
Sedition added to the list of accusations
The Havana Prosecutor’s Office has begun to use the crime of sedition to prosecute Cuban adolescents and young people from La Güinera and Mantilla (Arroyo Naranjo municipality) and from Diez de Octubre, who participated in the protests of July 11 and 12 in those neighborhoods of the capital.
Kevin Damian Frómeta Castro is one of 76 protesters in the capital, including almost a dozen minors under 18 years of age, who are being processed under this crime. Punishment requests range from 13 years to 27 years in prison.
On July 15, four days after the outbreak of the most significant protests to have occurred in Cuba since 1959, the regime’s spokesman Humberto Lopez announced on the television program Hacemos Cuba, that those detained in the demonstrations could be charged with the crimes of public disorder, instigation to commit a crime, robbery, resistance, attack, injury, contempt, property damage and the spread of epidemics.
The charges that the protesters were initially faced, as well as the prosecution’s petitions, had the first objective of punishing those who participated in the protests. The idea being that when they serve their sentences, or even if they are finally released after months of provisional prison in which many have denounced having suffered physical and psychological abuse and lack of medical attention, they would not consider protesting again.
The second objective, analysts believe, has been to discourage future promoters and participants in protests and comes as a result of the announcements of new demonstrations on November 15th.