CASE UPDATE: Prosecutor Seeks Maximum Sentence in Case Against Free Yorubas, Lisdiani & Lisdani Rodríguez Isaac
UPDATE AS OF 9/28/2021 (5:00PM)
The prosecutor has officially charged sisters Lisdiani & Lisdani with 1 count public disorder, two counts of disobedience, and two counts of assault/attack for a total of 10 years in prison with additional travel restrictions.
MORE INFORMATION COMING SOON!
Last week, sisters Lisdiani and Lisdani Rodríguez Isaac were informed they would most likely be facing the maximum sentence of 8 years in prison for “maliciously spreading an epidemic.” These charges come months after being detained for participation in peaceful protests that took place all across Cuba earlier in July.
The Global Liberty Alliance was notified the Prosecutor’s office of Villa Clara would be seeking to charge the sisters with “spreading of the epidemic” and have categorized the degree of the charges as particularly “malicious.”
Charges of “spreading an epidemic” would result in a possible prison sentence ranging from three months to one year, and/or fines between 100 and 300 CUP. Maliciously spreading an epidemic, however, can result in deprivation of liberty of three to eight years.
CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH
Spread of Epidemics
ARTICLE 187.1. - Anyone who violates the measures or provisions issued by the competent health authorities for the prevention and control of communicable diseases and programs or campaigns for the control or eradication of serious or dangerous diseases or epidemics, incurs a penalty of deprivation of liberty from three months to one year or a fine of one hundred to three hundred quotas or both.
2. The same penalty is incurred by anyone who refuses to collaborate with the health authorities in places of the national territory where any communicable disease acquires serious epidemic characteristics or in neighboring territories exposed to spread.
3. Anyone who maliciously spreads or facilitates the spread of a disease is subject to a penalty of deprivation of liberty for a period of three to eight years.
(Chapter V, Section One, Article 187.1 of Cuba’s Penal Code).
A GLA legal consultant familiar with the case noted however that participation in peaceful protests could not be deemed “malicious.” Additionally, on the same day of the demonstrations, President Díaz-Canel called on his supporters to also take to the streets and defend the government against revolutionaries. If protesting on that day in Villa Clara is classified as “maliciously spreading an epidemic,” equal application of justice demands any government supporters that also marched in response to Díaz-Canel’s call be charged equally.
GLA’s legal consultant also pointed out that marches and mass gatherings have been conducted at other times during the pandemic in addition to those on July 11.
GLA has received reports from contacts close to Lisdiani and Lisdani, indicating the Cuban government is pressuring the sisters to cooperate by spying on the Association of Free Yorubas of Cuba in exchange for a lesser sentence.
The extremity of the charges coupled with the Prosecutor’s decision to categorize the sister’s actions as “malicious” certainly creates leverage for the Cuban government against the young women.
GLA ADVOCACY & NEWS:
Visit GLA’s News & Media page for updates on the Free Yorubas of Cuba. More information on the Association of Free Yorubas of Cuba can be found on our website here.