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Thursday, February 2, 2023

UN: Cuba must sanction abuse of force in protests

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — The United Nations Committee Against Torture called Friday for the Cuban government to investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible for the excessive use of force and mistreatment during the July 2021 protests on the island and to ensure that victims receive reparation.

The Committee, a body of 10 independent experts, expressed concern about UN reports that account for alleged arbitrary arrests that occurred in the context of the protests, “although it takes note of the State party’s rejection of these allegations.”

The organization also expressed concern about the alleged repression of human rights defenders, artists and journalists.

“Reports received document mistreatment such as beatings, insults, threats of a sexual nature, full body searches, isolation in dark cells, use of pepper spray, exposure to high temperatures inside police vehicles, and abandonment of people held in remote areas,” he said. the Committee in its conclusions on Cuba.

Thousands of Cubans took to the streets on July 11 and 12, 2021 due to the difficult economic situation on the island, which resulted in shortages of food, medicine and power outages or lack of fuel, but there were Cubans who also demanded changes in government.

They were the biggest protests in decades and some ended in clashes with police or vandalism. The arrest of hundreds of people provoked criticism from governments and international organizations that saw the authorities’ action as a reaction to criticism, something that the Cuban government rejected.

The Committee’s 10 independent experts monitor implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Committee is part of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which is based in Geneva.

Cuba’s government did not immediately respond to The Associated Press when asked for a reaction to the Committee’s report’s findings.

The organization also highlighted complaints, after the July protests, of summary trials without guarantees of due process, restrictions on mobility and limitations on internet access.

“The Committee regrets the insufficient information from the State party on the investigation and prosecution of complaints linked to abuses committed in this context,” the report says.

On the other hand, the organization stated that Cuba should establish an independent institution that works to preserve human rights.

“The Committee considers that the military courts do not offer the guarantees of independence and impartiality required by the Convention (against Torture),” he said.

On the other hand, the agency also asked to create an independent mechanism that makes periodic unannounced visits to any place where there are people deprived of their liberty.

World Nation News Desk
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