Sentenced to 9 Months for Alleged Contempt as His Health Deteriorates.
On Tuesday, August 10, Mr. Virgilio Mantilla Arango appeared before the Florida municipality court in Camagüey, Cuba to appeal fabricated charges of contempt following the July 11 protests. An appeal was filed by Mr. Mantilla, who was forced to use a state lawyer shortly after charges were announced. As private law practice is not permitted in Cuba, Mr. Mantilla was not allowed to contract with a non-state attorney. Lawyers who do not work in the Communist Party-controlled national law firm system are prohibited from defending clients in Cuban courts.
CASE UPDATE: UNPACU Member & Independent Journalist Fernando Vázquez Guerra Released After Serving 3+ Years for Unpaid Fines
On July 21, 2021, independent journalist and UNPACU member Mr. Fernando Vázquez Guerra was released from Kilo-7 prison in Camagüey, Cuba.
Mr. Vázquez was out on parole in 2016 after serving time related to his political activism. In 2017, while on probation, he was re-arrested and re-detained on fabricated crimes of unpaid fines, and sentenced to an additional 3 years.
On July 18, Grupo Juridico de Ayuda Ciudadana (Citizen Aid Legal Group) issued an open letter to Cuba’s public offices and courts denouncing the abuse of rule of law by the Cuban government as they treat acts of peaceful protest as public disorder.