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2070 sign petition calling for release of Cuban Pastor

by Donna Birrell

A petition with more than 2000 signatures has been delivered to the Cuban Embassy in London demanding the release of a pastor who was detained in July.

The charity, CSW says Pastor Rosales Fajardo was detained without trial following protests across Cuba on 11th July. 

He is currently being held in the Boniato Maximum Security Prison outside of Santiago de Cuba, and he has been prevented from receiving visits from his wife and family.

CSW says the pastor's wife, Maridilegnis Carballo, and his 17 year old son who was initially detained at the same time, have also been threatened with repercussions if Ms Carballo continues to speak out about her husband's detention.

CSW's Head of Advocacy Anna-Lee Stangl said:

"CSW continues to stand with the family of Pastor Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo as they wait for this husband and father to be returned home. We hope that this petition will send an important message to the Cuban authorities that the world is watching them and that their treatment of Pastor Rosales Fajardo is wholly unacceptable. Once again we urge the international community to hold Cuba to account for its violations of human rights, and to press the Cuban government for Pastor Rosales Fajardo's immediate and unconditional release at every opportunity."

Although the pastor and his son were detained at the same time, they were separated almost immediately. The son returned home a week later and said he had been blindfolded and transported in a blacked-out truck, so did not know where he had been held. Other prisoners who asked where they were being taken were beaten.

Two other pastors, Yéremi Blanco Ramírez and Yarian Sierra Madrigal, who were detained during the protests in the city of Matanzas and released two weeks later, are also still facing criminal charges.

Cuban forces arrested nearly 1000 people in a clampdown on the biggest protests to hit the communist island since the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power in 1959. The protestors were drawing attention to Cuba's deteriorating socio-polical situation.


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