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SENTENCING OF THREE BROTHERS POSTPONED – Amnesty International

DOCUMENT – FURTHER INFORMATION: CUBA: SENTENCING OF THREE BROTHERS POSTPONED

Further information on UA: 201/13 Index: AMR 25/003/2014 Cuba Date: 15
July 2014
URGENT ACTION
sentencing of three brothers postponed

The sentencing of three prisoners of conscience originally scheduled for
1 July has been postponed with no further information. They are
prisoners of conscience and should be released immediately and
unconditionally.
Twenty-two-year-old Alexeis Vargas Martín and his two 18-year-old twin
brothers, Vianco Vargas Martín and Django Vargas Martín, were tried on
13 June at the Provincial Court in Santiago de Cuba, south-eastern Cuba,
under the charges of public disorder of a continuous nature (alteración
del orden público de carácter continuado).
The sentencing was scheduled for 1 July but was postponed with no
indication of a new date. The mother of the three brothers visited the
Court on 1 July in order to collect the sentencing documents but they
were not finalised. According to local activists the authorities may try
to convince the three brothers to give up their activism and this could
be the reason behind the postponement.
Amnesty International believes that their arrest and detention is in
response to their peaceful exercise of their right to of
and that it is intended to send a message of intimidation to
other government critics, particularly other members of the Patriotic
Union of Cuba (Unión Patriótica de Cuba, UNPACU). The three brothers are
prisoners of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally
released.
Please write immediately in Spanish, English or your own language:
Calling on the authorities to release Alexeis Vargas Martín, Vianco
Vargas Martín and Django Vargas Martín immediately and unconditionally,
as they are prisoners of conscience, detained solely for peacefully
exercising their right to freedom of expression;
Urging them to allow the free exercise of the right to freedom of
expression, association and assembly, without fear of reprisal.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 26 AUGUST 2014 TO:

Head of State and Government
Raúl Castro Ruz
de la República de Cuba
La Habana, Cuba
Fax: +41 22 758 9431 (Cuba office in Geneva); +1 212 779 1697 (via Cuban
Mission to UN)
Email: (c/o Cuban Mission to UN)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Attorney General
Dr. Darío Delgado Cura
Fiscal General de la República Fiscalía General de la República Amistad
552, e/Monte y Estrella Centro Habana
La Habana, Cuba
Salutation: Dear Attorney General
And copies to:
UNPACU
Calle 9 no. 10, entre E y G
Altamira, Santiago de Cuba
Cuba C.P. 90200
Email:

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your
country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address
Salutation Salutation
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above
date. This is the second update of UA 201/13. Further information:
http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR25/002/2014/en �
URGENT ACTION
sentencing of three brothers postponed
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to information received by Amnesty International, the Public
Prosecutor has asked for Alexeis Vargas Martín to be sentenced to five
years’ imprisonment and three years for Vianco and Django Vargas Martín,
who were 16 at the time of arrest. They were reportedly subjected to a
summary trial, with none of the witnesses for the defence being allowed
to testify. In political trials such as these it is typical for the
to pass the sentences requested by the public prosecutor.
The brothers, from the city of Santiago de Cuba, are all members of the
Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unión Patriótica de Cuba, UNPACU), a civil
society organization which advocates for greater civil liberties in the
country. Since their detention, Alexeis Vargas Martín is being held at
Aguadores in Santiago de Cuba province, while Vianco and Django
Vargas Martín are held at the Mar Verde prison in the same province.
In the afternoon of 27 November 2012, Alexeis was returning to his house
where a government-sanctioned demonstration () was
underway at the time. The house was surrounded by government supporters
as his mother, Miraida Martín Calderín, a member of the Ladies in White
protest group, was meeting with other members of the same organization.
Alexeis was refused entry to his own home and was by and
officials from the Department of State Security. On 2 December, Vianco
and Django Vargas Martín – then only 16 years old – were also arrested
when they went with friends to protest outside the Micro 9 police
station in the city of Santiago de Cuba against the detention of their
brother. In early July 2013, officials from the Department of State
Security told the brothers’ family that they could be released on bail.
The three brothers, however, have refused this as they reject the
charges made by the police and insist on their innocence.
Miraida Martín Calderín was also arrested on 2 December 2012 as she
protested outside the Tercera Unidad police station in the city of
Santiago de Cuba and charged by police with public disorder (desorden
público). She was held at the Mar Verde prison for women and released
pending trial on 20 February 2013. Miraida Martín Calderín appeared in
court alongside her sons on 13 June facing charges of public disorder
and defaming institutions, heroes and martyrs (difamación de las
instituciones, héroes y mártires). She may face a sentence of over two
years to home arrests.
The right to a fair trial in Cuba is affected, especially in trials with
political connotations, as courts and prosecutors are under government
control. Cuba’s National Assembly elects the , Vice-
and the other judges of the Peoples’ Supreme Court, as well as the
Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General. In addition, all
courts are subordinate to the National Assembly and the Council of
State, raising concerns over internationally recognised standards for
fair trial and the right to trial by an independent and impartial tribunal.
Acts of repudiation (actos de repudio) are government-coordinated
demonstrations, usually carried out in front of the homes of government
critics, attended by government supporters, state officials and law
enforcement agencies, aimed at harassing and intimidating opponents of
the government, and are often used to prevent them from travelling to
take part in activities. During an , political
opponents and activists are subjected to verbal and
physical abuse by groups of people chanting pro-government slogans.
Police are usually present but do not intervene to stop the assaults.
Such incidents frequently involve the Rapid Response Brigades (Brigadas
de Respuesta Rápida), a structure set up in 1991 and composed of
Communist Party volunteers whose task is to deal with any sign of
“counter-revolution”. Local human rights activists and others believe
these incidents are orchestrated by Cuba’s security services to
intimidate any opposition. Miraida Martin Calderin has told Amnesty
International that members of the Rapid Response Brigade threw stones at
her house during the act of repudiation on 27 November 2012.
Names: Alexeis Vargas Martín, Vianco Vargas Martín and Django Vargas Martín
Gender (m/f): m
Further information on UA: 201/13 Index: AMR 25/003/2014 Issue Date: 15
July 2014

Source: Document – Further information: Cuba: Sentencing of three
brothers postponed | Amnesty International –
http://amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR25/003/2014/en/af538db9-db11-4abf-ada9-3938b092b75d/amr250032014en.html

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