‘I don’t think that any man can get used to this place, and even more so when one knows that one is here unjustly.’
– Pastor Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo
Pastor Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo has been a prisoner of the Cuban government for over 18 months. He was arrested, among many others, on 11 July 2021 in the midst of unprecedented nationwide protests in Cuba, and he is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence on completely fabricated charges of ‘disrespect’, ‘assault’, ‘criminal incitement’ and ‘public disorder’.
He is one of many political prisoners on the island, his continuing detention just one reminder of the Cuban authorities’ relentless hostility towards religious groups it views with suspicion and fear.
Continue reading “The international community must support the bravery of the Cuban people” →
CSW spoke with David Rosales, son of Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo, pastor of the independent church Monte de Sión in Palma Soriano, who today is serving a seven-year prison sentence in the Boniato Maximum Security Prison in Santiago de Cuba.
The religious leader was accused in December 2021 of public disorder, criminal incitement, disrespect and assault, after he and his son David participated in the national protests on 11 July 2021. The Cuban regime, using false information and witnesses, accused Lorenzo and David of responsibility for wounds suffered by ‘seven public order agents and one civil servant who was taking care of the institution. At the same time, they damaged the state bus, which was parked where the acts took place.”
On 17 July 2021 David Rosales was released under precautionary bail because of his participation in the protests. This measure was modified, and David was exonerated from criminal proceedings after a fine, paid on 19 August 2021, was imposed.
Continue reading ““I want to be a good man” – an interview with David Rosales, son of Pastor Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo “ →
Reverend Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo has two children. A son, David, aged 18, and a daughter, Lorena, aged 12. Over the past nine months, he has only been permitted to see them, and his wife Maridilegnis Carballo, in a few fleeting visits to the maximum-security prison where he is currently being held.
As it stands, this will remain the reality for Pastor Lorenzo and his family for another eight years. He was sentenced in December, but the family only learned of the decision last week, in a communication sent by the Cuban government to the United Nations in response to a request for information regarding the pastor’s detention.
The final paragraph of the communication reads, in Spanish, “The trial was held from 20-21 December 2021, during which the accused was convicted of the crimes of ‘public disorder’, ‘criminal incitement’, ‘disrespect’ and ‘assault’, and sentenced to eight years of deprivation of liberty. At the time of writing this response, [the authorities] are in the process of preparing the sentence for its subsequent notification of the parties.”
Continue reading “Eight years in prison for Pastor Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo, communicated to his family as an afterthought” →
Today is Human Rights Day. It marks the 73rd anniversary of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), a milestone document which proclaims the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being.
Article 18 of the UDHR declares “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
It conveys the principle that everyone should be free to believe whatever they choose to believe; however, in many countries around the world, individuals have not only been denied this freedom, but their physical freedom also on account of their religion or belief.
Continue reading “Human Rights Day: Standing up and speaking out until everyone is free to believe” →