Eduardo Cardet, the head of Cuba’s anti-communist Christian Liberation Movement (MCL), has been sentenced to serve three years in prison following his violent arrest in front of his two young children after the death of Fidel Castro in November.
Some witnesses say Cardet had been heard criticizing the government for forcing Cubans to sign overwrought goodbye notes in government-issued “condolence books.” The Cuban government imposed a nine-day “mourning period” following the elder Castro’s death in late November 2016, imprisoning those who dared defy it.
On Tuesday, Cuban courts convicted Cardet of assault against an officer of the state, a crime his family who witnessed his arrest, say he did not commit. “The sentence is based on manipulated data, without taking into consideration the testimony of defense witnesses,” Cardet’s wife, Yaimaris Vecino, said in a statement published by the MCL. “As we imagined, this has been another attempt to detain him as long as possible.” His family, she says, will appeal the sentence.
Vecino witnessed her husband’s arrest. Cuban police apprehended and beat him, she says, while she held her children away from the scene. Police hauled Cardet away and have since denied him bail on three occasions.
Amnesty International has declared Cardet a prisoner of conscience. “Doctor Cardet is confined to an Holguín prison just for having criticized Fidel Castro,” a statement released Wednesday by the NGO read. Cardet is a medical doctor by trade. “Dr. Cardet is a prisoner of conscience who should be freed immediately.” Amnesty declared Cardet a prisoner of conscience in February. (Read more from “Cuba: Christian Leader Receives 3-Year Prison Sentence for Anti-Castro Comments” HERE)