CASE UPDATE: Charges Dismissed Against Amanda Duniet Hernández Celaya After Summary Trial Ruled Lack of Evidence in Cuba
On Thursday, July 22, 17-year-old Amanda Duniet Hernández Celaya was acquitted of all charges brought against her by the Cuban State after spending over a week in detention at the 100th y Aldabó Station in Havana, Cuba.
A summary trial was held on July 22, during which charges were dropped due to lack of evidence showing participation in the protests. According to GLA’s independent lawyer, Amanda was tried along with nine other young persons, the rest of whom were sentenced to one year in prison.
Amanda Duniet Hernández Celaya, a young student from Havana, was not a member of any opposition group or party, nor was she participating in the peaceful assembly or demonstrations that took place on that day. She simply stopped to record the commotion she came across. Her case, along with several others, have received increased media attention as teenagers and youth in Cuba have been arrested in the wake of these protests.
In an open letter to the Cuban courts and offices sent on July 18, Grupo Juridico de Ayuda Ciudadana (Citizen Aid Legal Group) denounced the abuse of rule of law by the Cuban State following the protests earlier this month, noting they are taking acts of peaceful assembly and categorizing them as public disorder.
Looking at Amanda’s case, along with three others, the group pointed out arrests carried out by police were all arbitrary, with “no ties to any disturbance or vandalism,” and concluded “flagrant violations” of the Law and Constitution “were manifested, in an evident Abuse of Power.”
The Global Liberty Alliance will continue to support and defend the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of thought, and the right to peacefully assemble, all of which have been under attack in Cuba for generations.
For the latest news on the aftermath of the 11 July protests, please see our News & Media page HERE.