Voces de Cuba: Yoel Su√°rez

El 5 de febrero de 2020, Yoel Su√°rez fue citado a la estaci√≥n de polic√≠a de Siboney en La Habana donde fue interrogado durante tres horas por un agente de seguridad del estado que le inform√≥ que ser√≠a declarado ‘regulado.’ La declaraci√≥n somete al Sr. Su√°rez a una prohibici√≥n indefinida de viajes internacionales, una t√°ctica com√ļn de las autoridades cubanas para perjudicar a personas que consideran “pol√≠ticamente sensibles”.

Como periodista independiente, el Sr. Suárez ha trabajado con medios de comunicación no estatales en Cuba desde 2014 y ha escrito extensamente sobre temas de derechos humanos y libertad de religión o creencias. Como resultado de su trabajo, él y su familia han sido objeto de hostigamiento regular por parte de las autoridades cubanas.

Hoy, hace m√°s de seis meses, el Sr. Su√°rez contin√ļa bajo la prohibici√≥n de viajar, y √©l y sus familiares han recibido m√ļltiples visitas de agentes de seguridad del estado de Cuba.


Voices from Cuba: Yoel Su√°rez

On 5 February 2020 Yoel Su√°rez was summoned to Siboney Police Station in Havana where he was interrogated for three hours by a state security agent who informed him that he had been declared ‚Äėregulado.‚Äô The declaration effectively subjects Mr Su√°rez to an indefinite ban on international travel, and is a common tactic used by the Cuban authorities to target individuals who they deem ‚Äėpolitically sensitive‚Äô.

As an independent journalist, Mr Su√°rez has worked with non-state media outlets in Cuba since 2014 and has written extensively about human rights and freedom of religion or belief issues. As a result of his work, he and his family have been subjected to regular harassment at the hands of the Cuban authorities.

Today, over six months later, Mr Su√°rez remains unable to travel, and he and members of his family have received multiple visits from Cuban state security agents.

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FoRB on the Frontlines: “If I can kill a priest then I can kill anyone”

In several Latin American countries, religious leaders often take on the roles of community leader and human rights defender. As a result, these leaders often face harassment, intimidation and even violence at the hands of state and non-state actors. Over the next few weeks CSW will be presenting interviews with religious leaders working in the region to highlight their experiences on the frontlines of freedom of religion or belief.

Father Omar Sotelo Aguilar works in Mexico for the Catholic Multimedia Centre (CCM) documenting attacks against Catholic priests.

“In recent years Mexico has been a dangerous place for journalists, priests and other religious leaders. I have been a Catholic priest and a journalist for about 25 years now, so I face a double risk. But even without taking this into account, we are as exposed as any other person.

I decided to approach this work from a journalist’s perspective as it is an issue that was not very visible, but was a very harsh reality. Good journalism, like good advocacy, is based on facts, figures and documentation.

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En la l√≠nea de fuego frente a la LdRC: ‚ÄúSi puedo matar a un cura entonces puedo matar a cualquiera‚ÄĚ

En algunos pa√≠ses latinoamericanos, l√≠deres religiosos frecuentemente desempe√Īan papeles como l√≠deres comunitarios y defensores de los derechos humanos. Como resultado, estos l√≠deres se enfrentan al acoso, la intimidaci√≥n e incluso la violencia en las manos de actores estatales y no estatales. Durante las pr√≥ximas semanas CSW presentar√° entrevistas con l√≠deres religiosos quienes trabajan en la regi√≥n para destacar sus experiencias en la l√≠nea de fuego frente a la libertad de religi√≥n o creencia (LdRC).

El Padre Omar Sotelo Aguilar trabaja con el Centro Católico Multimedial (CCM) en México documentando ataques contra sacerdotes.

‚ÄúEn los √ļltimos a√Īos M√©xico ha sido peligroso para periodistas, sacerdotes y otros l√≠deres religiosos. Yo soy sacerdote cat√≥lico y periodista desde hace ya 25 a√Īos, as√≠ que me enfrento a un doble riesgo. Pero independientemente de ello estamos expuestos como cualquier persona.

Decid√≠ enfocarme en mi trabajo por el √°ngulo period√≠stico, adem√°s de ser un tema que era poco visible pero muy real y crudo. El buen periodismo, como la buena incidencia pol√≠tica, est√° basado en hechos, n√ļmeros y documentaci√≥n.


FoRB on the Frontlines: An atmosphere of self-censorship

In the run-up to Human Rights Day on 10 December and the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders on 9 December, CSW has been speaking with HRDs across South Asia to find out what it means to be a FoRB defender in the region.

Julfikar is a human rights defender working in Bangladesh:

“When friends, well-wishers and colleagues frequently advise me to restrict my movement and leave my country for safety elsewhere, it becomes an indescribable mental pressure. I have been facing this reality for many years now, but it has intensified over the last one year as Bangladesh heads to the national election on December 30.

I have spent 28 years as a professional journalist. During this period, I have witnessed horrific political, religious violence, and brutal terror attacks in the name of Islam. I have investigated and covered many of those traumatic events and closely observed others. There are many more to investigate, but the situation is gradually becoming more difficult for people like me. 

In my career, I have exposed violations of human rights, religious persecution, atrocities, intimidation, war crimes of 1971 and criminal activities, abuse of law, corruption, hate campaign, propaganda and fake news on the social media with ill motives.

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