Cuba : Hundreds charged over anti-government protests

Cuba : Hundreds charged over anti – government protests

Cuban officials say more than 700 people who took part in anti-government protests last year have been charged with crimes including sedition, vandalism, theft and public disorder. The public prosecutor’s office said 172 people had already been tried and convicted, without giving details.

The prosecutor’s office said 27 children under 16 took part in the protests, with 10 sent to “comprehensive training and behavioral schools” and the other 17 given “personalized attention in their school.”

Cubans took to the streets in July of last year, in a rare show of public discontent, to protest blackouts, economic hardship and the tightly-controlled political system. They were the biggest demonstrations in decades in a nation where freedom of assembly is heavily restricted.

Calls for more protests were repeated in the weeks and months following the civil uprising. A group of artists called Archipelago, led by Yunior Garcia Aguilera, tried to organise the protests into a movement. But in November, a heavy crackdown prevented the assembly and Garcia Aguilera abruptly left the country.