German citizen arrested July 11th in Cuba for filming protests faces 24 yr prison sentence

International Society for Human Rights, November 10, 2021

Cuba: German to serve 24 years in prison for filming protests with his smartphone

ISHR demands immediate release of Luis Frómeta Compte – Cuba refuses consular assistance by German embassy

Luis Frómeta Compte

Dresden/Frankfurt am Main/Havana, November 10, 2021 – Birthday behind bars: German citizen Luis Frómeta Compte is one of around two thousand demonstrators arrested on July 11 during protests against the dictatorship. Today, the Dresden family man turns 59 in the notorious “Combinado del Este” prison. He had visited relatives in Cuba in the summer and spontaneously filmed with his smartphone at a demonstration in Havana for private purposes. The prosecution is demanding 24 years in prison for him for “causing a public nuisance” and “inciting a riot.” As the German-Cuban spends his 59th birthday today in a cell with 30 prisoners, the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) is calling for his immediate release.

Although Luis Frómeta Compte has German and Cuban citizenship and has lived in Germany since 1985, the Cuban government still refuses to provide consular assistance through the German embassy in Havana.

“The case of Luis Frómeta Compte from Dresden shows how much Cuba’s leadership is afraid of losing power. Not only locals, but also vacationers who witness protests are seen as a danger, declared criminals and threatened with long prison sentences on false charges. Cuba has already violated human rights on July 11, 2021 while the whole world was watching, the same must not be repeated at the protests announced for November 15,” explains Martin Lessenthin, spokesman of the board of the ISHR.

Daughters living in Germany worry

Luis Frómeta Compte suffers from a thyroid disease and has had several slipped intervertebral discs in the past. His daughters, who live in Germany, are worried about their father’s health, as they told ISHR. Due to the hard bed, there is a high risk that he will have problems with his intervertebral disc again. In the meantime, they were able to provide him with some medication. “Our only heartfelt wish for this year is the release of our dad before Christmas. Today is his birthday, which he has to spend alone in prison without us. We would like to have him with us at least on Christmas and celebrate together as a family. It is unbearable for us that they are demanding 24 years in prison for him. Where is the humanity? Where is justice?” said Janie Frómeta.

More information available here in German.

Family has a multi-language petition calling for his release.