Luis Manuel Otero, Maykel Osorbo, HRW, LMOA

Repression, arrests and police siege: this is how the first day of the trial of Luis Manuel Otero and Maykel Osorbo goes by

MIAMI, United States. — With a strong police operation around the Marianao Popular Municipal Court (Havana) and several arrests of activists and independent journalists, the first day of the trial of Cuban artists Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and Maykel Castillo Pérez (Maykel Osorbo), both members of the San Isidro Movement (MSI).

In the morning hours, the curator Anamely Ramos González indicated on social networks that the oral hearing would take place in the Marianao court in the middle of a security cordon to cut off the access roads to the court.

“Everything is militarized from the Obelisk, but their job is to get there or as far as they can and report whatever happens, also with you in case you suffer any harm. No information that I may have is going to be better than your experience there, ”the activist wrote in one of her profiles on Facebook.

According to information received by the former member of the MSI, the presence of television cameras stood out in the place. Anamely also specified that only the accused could enter the trial.

Arrests of reporters and activists

The journalist from CubaNet Camila Acosta was arrested this morning in Havana when she was about to visit her lawyer.

Acosta was going to an appointment with his lawyer to close the case opened by the Island regime against the reporter for covering the anti-government protests on July 11, 2021.

Acosta told this newspaper that two policemen and two women dressed in civilian clothes stopped her two blocks after leaving her house and “they mounted her, without any explanation, in patrol car No. 786.”

The reporter was released shortly after, but not before receiving threats.

“The State Security officer let me go about 20 minutes later, when he contacted his superiors,” he explained.

Before letting her go, they warned her that she was still undergoing an open criminal proceeding and under house arrest, as long as the fine that was imposed on her was not paid, so “if I committed ‘any crime’ it would aggravate my situation.”

Acosta made it clear that with the new threat they warned him “that I should not approach the court where Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and Maykel Osorbo are being prosecuted today.”

Also in the morning the actor and activist was arrested Daniel Triana, better known as Danielito Tri Tri. The young man was intercepted by agents of the political police after leaving his house to show solidarity with the Otero Alcántara and Maykel Osorbo.

“I am going to go out in solidarity with Luis and with Maykel. They deserve my solidarity for being human beings, for being Cubans, for being artists above all. To the artistic community in Cuba, this is happening. They are judging two artists for expressing themselves and for making their art, making their music, for dissenting, for disobeying, for existing,” Triana said shortly before leaving her home.

In the afternoon, Anamely Ramos denounced In social networks, the police operation mounted against the activists, reporters and diplomats who prepared to reach the Marianao court.

“They didn’t let in the journalists or the diplomats. Trial behind closed doors, militarized streets, friends arrested or imprisoned in their homes, Internet cuts. That is your law, terror.”

Prosecuted for common causes

Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and Maykel Osorbo are being prosecuted for different common causes, including “outrage against national symbols of a continuing nature”, “disrespect”, “defamation of institutions and organizations and of heroes and martyrs”, “attack”, “resistance” and “public disorder”. The tax petitions are for seven years against Otero Alcántara and seven against Castillo Pérez.

Both artists were declared prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International.

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