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Cuba released journalist imprisoned for covering arrest of Christian parents

A Cuban journalist who was imprisoned for nearly a year in a labour camp for reporting on the arrest, jailing and trial of Christian pastors and homeschool parents has been released and reunited with his family. Roberto Quiñones Haces, a journalist for CubaNet, confirmed his release in Guantánamo by phone to the news outlet. The 63-years-old had been imprisoned since the 11th of September 2019.


He was convicted of “crimes related to disobedience and resistance” as he covered the trial of Ramon Rigal and his wife, Adya Expósito, members of the Church of God. They were arrested in April 2019 for homeschooling their children due to concerns they had about the Cuban public school system’s promotion of socialism and atheism. 

Throughout their imprisonment, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, as well as other international human rights watchdogs, called for the release of the couple and Quiñones. The married couple were released at separate times earlier this year. 

Cuba’s new Constitution adopted last April changed religious freedom protections. It was followed by the regime’s aggressive targeting of religious leaders who opposed the changes. Tactics used to pressure religious leaders included repeated police summons, interrogations, threats of detention, and labeling religious leaders as “counterrevolutionaries.”

Cuban authorities have also in the past been accused of preventing religious leaders and activists from travelling to the U.S. to testify about the repression of religious freedom in Cuba. 

Last year, it was reported that regime officials banned at least four evangelical leaders. The latter spoke out about the constitutional changes regarding travelling to the U.S. to participate in the State Department’s second Ministerial meeting to Advance Religious Freedom. 

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