Dresden/Frankfurt am Main/Havana, December 24, 2021 – Bad news just before Christmas Eve: as reported by the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR), German citizen Luis Frómeta Compte has been sentenced to 25 years in prison in Cuba. The charges were “agitation of public nuisance” and “incitement to riot.” The Dresden family man is one of about two thousand demonstrators arrested on July 11 during protests against the dictatorship. While visiting relatives, he had spontaneously filmed a demonstration in Havana for private purposes with his smartphone and was subsequently arrested.
ISHR strongly criticizes the high condemning sentence and points out that, in the meantime, the 59-year-old’s brother-in-law is also in pre-trial detention. Luis Frómeta Compte’s lawyer will appeal.
“By imposing such a heavy prison sentence on a dual national, the Cuban government shows that it makes no distinction between locals and foreign nationals. It is rigorously cracking down on anyone who is a thorn in their side. Luis Frómeta Compte has done nothing wrong, yet he now faces 25 years in prison. This is a scandal and a hard blow for his family just before Christmas. We demand the immediate release of Luis Frómeta Compte, his brother-in-law and all political prisoners in Cuba,” says Martin Lessenthin, spokesman of the board of ISHR, Germany section.
Daughters living in Germany are shocked and saddened
Luis Frómeta Compte has both German and Cuban citizenship, and his whole life has been in Germany since 1985. Despite this, the Cuban regime still refuses to provide consular assistance through the German embassy in Havana. His daughters, who live in Germany, are in disbelief and shocked by the verdict, as they tell ISHR: “It hurts immensely and I have no words to express my feelings. We can’t lose strength now and somehow have to stay strong for dad, even though it’s really taking a lot of our strength right now. One day before Christmas I just feel endless sadness, it’s so incredibly hard,” said Janie Frómeta.