GLA received word that yesterday, December 10, on International Human Rights Day, Association of Free Yorubas members Yolexi Sánchez was detained by State Security, and threatened with 3 years' jail time and loss of his job.
The reason? He belonged to the Association of Free Yorubas and to civil society organization Julio Machado Academy. Cuban State Security assured Mr. Sánchez that if he didn't quit both the Free Yorubas and the Julio Machado Academy, the father of 3 would be fired from his job and given 3 years of prison for "endangerment." Mr. Sánchez of course refused to abandon his beliefs and friends. Listen to testimony from Free Yoruba leadership below.
GLA denounces all state attempts to control freedom of worship and assembly, and is defending Mr. Sánchez and all those repressed under totalitarian regimes like Cuba's.
NEWS ALERT: Stones Thrown in "Act of Repudiation" against Yoruba San Isidro Movement Activist, Jovián Díaz Batista
The Global Liberty Alliance has learned that earlier today, Association of Free Yorubas and San Isidro Movement member, the young Jovián Díaz Batista, suffered from an "act of repudiation" at his home. This time, the "repudiation" included people throwing stones at the home where he lives with his wife; the couple sheltered in place for fear of further violence.
"Acts of repudiation," a common occurrence in Cuba, are acts of intimidation, concocted by authorities and made to look like spontaneous protests against dissidents,
For more information, listen to the below testimony by the Association of Free Yorubas leader Loreto Hernández García, and see the below footage of the repression filmed by Mr. Díaz Batista himself, courtesy of ADN Cuba News.
The Global Liberty Alliance (GLA) renewed calls for sanctioning Cuba's Office of Religious Affairs on November 2, 2020, in response to the October 30 demolition of an Assemblies of God church in Santiago de Cuba, and arrest of the church's pastors and those recording the incident.
Early on Friday, October 30, 2020, an Assemblies of God church in Santiago de Cuba was demolished by order of the Cuban State, and Pastor Alain Toledano, who livestreamed the incident, was arrested and held in police custody for over five hours. The church's pastor and his wife had already been detained.
GLA believes this to be yet another egregious offense against religious freedom in Cuba, part of regular repressive activity conducted by Cuba's Office of Religious Affairs and other cooperating agencies. Read our press release by clicking on Read More.
For months, members of the Missionary Church of Cuba (“Iglesia Misionera de Cuba”) in Victoria, Las Tunas, have been pelted with stones on their way to worship. Originally occurring once a week, now the attacks have escalated to twice a week. According to church head Pastor Yoel Demetrio, the move is designed to scare off his congregation, as well as to pressure the pastor to weaken his message. Churchgoers cannot see who is throwing stones at them, but they all suspect state officials have instigated the attacks. Complaints to Cuban police have brought no results.
Yesterday, on September 30, 2020, two Cuban women who are members of the Association of Free Yorubas executive committee were arrested, held overnight, and beaten by State Security.
In Letter to Pompeo, GLA Urges Sanctions for Cuban Customs, Religious Officials Blocking Humanitarian Aid
On Wednesday, September 2, the Global Liberty Alliance (GLA) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging the U.S. Government to issue sanctions for the Cuban Communist Party officials and others who are complicit in blocking humanitarian aid from U.S.-based charitable and civil society organizations.
The Global Liberty Alliance Joins a Coalition in Support of the Draft Report of the Commission on Unalienable Rights
On July 30, the Global Liberty Alliance joined a coalition of friends and advocates of fundamental rights committed to upholding human rights and human dignity in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of State’s Commission on Unalienable Rights, which recently released a Draft Report.
Alexandria, VA - The Global Liberty Alliance (GLA) has received word that several members of the Association of Free Yorubas of Cuba (Asociación de Yorubas Libres de Cuba), including an underage boy, were just released from police custody after being separately summoned to the police station in Placetas, Villa Clara this afternoon. They were in police custody for 3 hours.
Yesterday, on June 25, 2020, evangelical Pastor Ramón Rigal Rodríguez, of Guantánamo, Cuba, was released after over a year of unlawful imprisonment. Pastor Rigal and his wife, Adya Expósito, were sentenced in May 2019 to two and one-and-a-half years of prison for homeschooling their children.
In close collaboration with the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) in Purcellville, Virginia, and with Cuban religious leaders, the Global Liberty Alliance (GLA) has been advocating for the release of the Rigal parents since their trial. In late April 2019, the GLA and the HSLDA petitioned the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for precautionary measures to protect the Rigal family and press Cuba to release them.
While the Rigal family is finally reunited, as Radio Televisión Martí has said, the reporter who covered their trial, GLA client Roberto Quiñones, is still unjustly imprisoned. You can find more information about GLA’s advocacy for the Rigal-Expósito family here. GLA is committed to defending fundamental rights, such as freedom of religion and of belief.
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