By Javier Herrera
HAVANA TIMES – On October 3rd, Cuban lawyer Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo confirmed that he had filed a lawsuit against the National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP) to demand the processing and approval of a law that regulates demonstrations on the island, a right recognized by the Constitution approved in 2019.
In the lawsuit, filed on September 20, 2023, the Cubalex Lawyer demands the Approval of a Law that develops and makes effective the provisions of Article 56 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, which would regulate the process for the authorization and holding of demonstrations and meetings for lawful and peaceful purposes, as well as the creation by the Cuban State, of the conditions required for the full exercise of that constitutional right by the citizens.
As a first response from the authorities, Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo was detained on a public street by the National Police and taken to the police station located in Infanta and Manglar, known as the Fourth Unit. In said unit he was informed, by two State Security officers who were expressly waiting for him, that the reason for the arrest was the lawsuit filed two days before against the ANPP. Between threats they recommended that he better take care of his personal things and stop bothering with lawsuits against state institutions.
In a frank attack of cynicism they also told him:“…the lawsuit is valid and is protected by law, but that in Cuba the authorities violated the law and that this would continue to be the case as long as the Revolution exists…”. Making clear in words what many Cubans know as fact.
An example of this act above the law of the repressive bodies is the criminalization of the protests that occur daily throughout the national territory for different reasons, but especially the protesters of July 11, 2021, who were sentenced to Penalties ranging from a few months in prison to 30 years, many under fabricated crimes and without evidence beyond the statement of a police or law enforcement agent.
Another violation of Cuba’s own laws is the persecution carried out against human rights activists, with Cuba being a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Likewise, we can count as serious violations of the rights endorsed by the Cuban constitution the interference in civil organizations and institutions to harass activists, such as interference in their telephones, selective and total internet cuts, the expulsion from universities of students for expressing political or social ideas not in accordance with the regime, and the denial of medical assistance to activists and family members.
Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo is a Cuban attorney born in Santiago de Cuba in October 1958 and residing in Havana, in the Cerro neighborhood. Julio studied in a vocational pre-university that was part of a special plan of the Ministry of the Interior, so he was later admitted to the University of Havana, where he graduated with a Law Degree in 1985.
After graduating, Julio Ferrer worked in the Courts of the Ministry of Justice, where he served as a judge in different instances. As a result of his disagreements with various violations that he was able to verify during his work, he ended his work as a professional judge and ended up working as a lawyer in a collective law firm, from which he was expelled ten years later.
Starting in 2008, Julio Ferrer began to collaborate with Cuban dissidents on legal issues and joined the Cuban Legal Association, considered illegal by the Havana regime. As a means of pressure and blackmail on the respected jurist, his wife, also a lawyer, Marienys Pavon Oñate, in 2012, was prosecuted for fabricated crimes and sentenced to seven years of deprivation of liberty, while he was detained for several months without an effective sentence, to prevent him from practicing as his spouse’s lawyer.
Today Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo works as an independent lawyer and specialist at the Cubalex Legal Information Center, an activity for which he is monitored, persecuted, detained, and threatened on multiple occasions.