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.
Yesterday, December 8, marked one week since Cuban political prisoner Silverio Portal Contreras was announced as released from prison. Two years into a four-year sentence for "public disorder" and suffering from cardiovascular ailments and a prison injury, Mr. Portal was granted medical release.
A GLA network lawyer (whose name is withheld for security reasons) filed several appeals of Mr. Portal's sentence and applications for parole in 2020, which were instrumental in his release. See the press release below.
On November 24, GLA network attorneys published a legal Opinion (Dictamen) that discusses how the National Revolutionary Police of Cuba are criminally responsible for violating the human rights of San Isidro Movement member Denis Solís González (pictured at left).
Cuba is a totalitarian police state that uses the color of law to project political legitimacy, yet Cuban officials systemically violate Cuban "laws and regulations." In this Dictamen, for example, lawyers working outside the state legal system detail violations of the fundamental rights of San Isidro Movement group member, Denis Solís González.
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.
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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