In response to the state repression of social protests in several areas of Cuba yesterday, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:
“In a historic day for Cuba, thousands of people took to the streets to demonstrate peacefully in several parts of the country, exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. It’s unacceptable that the Cuban government has denied these rights for decades and continues to do so today.”
“During yesterday’s spontaneous demonstrations, which spread across different areas of the country, Amnesty International received with alarm reports of internet blackouts, arbitrary arrests, excessive use of force – including police firing on demonstrators – and reports that there is a long list of missing persons.”
“Instead of repressing the population, the Cuban authorities have an obligation to protect their right to demonstrate peacefully. President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s inflammatory rhetoric of ‘war’ and confrontation creates atmosphere of violence against those who demand accountability and the free enjoyment of their human rights.”
“The Díaz-Canel government must address the social demands of its citizens, given the economic crisis, the shortages of food and medicine, the collapse of the health system – which is not responding to the current COVID-19 crisis – and the accumulation of historical demands for respect of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”
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