Conference of Men and Women Religious calls for respect for "constitutional right to peacefully demonstrate."
Some of the protesters who took to the streets of Cuban cities July 11 have been “punished with very severe penalties,” said the board of directors of the Cuban Conference of Men and Women Religious.
The group reported Tuesday that “there are still detainees awaiting trial” according to Catholic News Agency.
CNA said that the conference has been offering legal advice to detainees and spiritual and psychological support for their family members since the unprecedented protests in Havana and several other cities. Marchers expressed frustration with the communist regime, as well as inflation, shortages of food and medicine, and the poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Conference of Men and Women Religious called for cases to be dismissed of “people who were exercising their constitutional right to peacefully demonstrate (which is protected in Article 56 of the Constitution).” It also called for “compliance with the law, the rules of due process and consideration for the age and social background of the participants in the events.”
Just two days after the July 11 protests, the conference came out supporting the “legitimate and universal right” of Cubans to express grievances with the government in an “orderly and peaceful way in public.”
“As consecrated religious, we experience these events from a perspective of faith, and we recognize God’s voice in the people’s grievances. The people who came out into the streets are not delinquents; they are everyday Cuban people who found a way to express their discontent,” the group said in a message to religious communities on the island.