CASE UPDATE: 94-year-old Mother of American Unlawfully Detained in Cuba Pleads for Support from U.S. Politicians
On August 7, Florida school teacher and US citizen Alina López Miyares celebrated her fifth consecutive birthday as a prisoner in Cuba. A few days later, her 94-year-old mother, also named Alina, recorded a message for U.S. policymakers and representatives pleading for support in securing her daughter’s release.
Thousands of Cubans took to the streets on Sunday in several cities throughout their island nation to peacefully assemble and protest, calling for liberty, free exercise of their fundamental freedoms, and change. Cuban state security forces were deployed, and many demonstrators were beaten, arrested and disappeared by the evening. The whereabouts of many are still unknown.
NEWS ALERT: GLA Updates the UN's Working Group on arbitrary detention, U.S. State department and the German Foreign Ministry on Mr. Jamshid Sharmahd, A california resident held hostage in iran
Today, the Global Liberty Alliance submitted an update to the United Nations Working Group in Arbitrary Detention (“WGAD”) regarding the case of Jamshid Sharmahd, a German national and U.S. legal resident who has been held hostage in Iran for nearly one year. The documents were also sent to the U.S. Department of State and the German Foreign Ministry via Germany's Ambassador to Washington, D.C., Emily Haber.
NEWS ALERT: GLA PRAISES REPS. DEUTCH, HILL ON LAUNCHING OF THE CONGRESSIONAL AMERICAN HOSTAGE TASK FORCE
“The task force is so important for us as former hostages because the pain that is inflicted on us while we are hostages, a lot of it comes from the outside, and having such a task force for families to go to, to discuss, to know what to do, its so important.”
- Mr. Nizar Zakka, unlawfully imprisoned in Iran for four years
THE PAIN THAT A MOTHER FEELS DOES NOT COMPARE WITH ANYTHING”- MOTHER OF ALINA LOPEZ MIYARES, U.S. CITIZEN UNLAWFULLY DETAINED IN CUBA.
Global Liberty Alliance (GLA) client, Ms. Alina Lopez Miyares, has been unlawfully detained in Cuba for four years. NBC News’ Carmen Sesin spoke with Alina’s 93-year-old mother about the case.
On March 9, the Organization of American States' Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued Precautionary Measures to protect Cuban journalist and lawyer Roberto Quiñones Haces. The Global Liberty Alliance (GLA) applied for precautionary measures in April 2020, when Mr. Quiñones was in prison for journalism, and has been updating the Commission since that time. Even after his September 2020 release, Mr. Quiñones continued to suffer intimidation and harassment from Cuban officials.
Read the GLA press release and Precautionary Measure itself below.
On Friday, March 5, the youth organizer of the Association of Free Yorubas of Cuba, Dairon Hernández Pérez, was detained, beaten, and robbed by Cuban State Security and Rapid Response Brigades outside his home. He was returning from a religious event. GLA is investigating the matter. More details, including photos and video, are included at the end of this post.
In a video statement, Mr. Hernández and his mother Free Yorubas Executive Secretary Donaida Pérez Paseiro assert that he was beaten on the head, stomach, back, and legs, his religious articles were broken, and money he carried on his person was taken. State Security also threatened to run him over with a car, and to jail him for "precriminal dangerousness." In other words, repression.
The brutal attack occurred less than 2 weeks after the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) published an important Fact Sheet outlining how the Free Yorubas were victims of religious persecution. The Global Liberty Alliance has been providing information to USCIRF about this matter, and others and has urged the U.S. government to impose economic sanctions on Cuba's Religion Police, a Stasi-like entity that is part of the Communist Party and called the Office of Religious Affairs.
Today, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom released a new report on the state of the santería (also known as Yoruba) tradition in Cuba. According to USCIRF, the report “provides a brief overview of the traditions of the Santeria community in Cuba and highlights the religious freedom violations that community experiences.” The report gives evidence of religious freedom violations against the Association of Free Yorubas that the Global Liberty Alliance uncovered, thanks to the support of Cuban civil society leaders.
GLA Files Complaint with UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention for Cuban-American Hostage Alina López
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.