CUBA | Government Sows Confusion with Pastor Trial Dates


Date:                       December 14, 2021


The Cuban government informed the family of Protestant pastor, Rev. Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo, that his trial will take place on Dec. 21, 22 or 23. No details about the location of the trial were given to the family or to his lawyer.
Rev. Rosales Fajardo, leader of the Monte de Sion Independent Church in Palma Soriano, Cuba, was detained by State Security officers July 11 while he participated in peaceful protests which took place across the island. He has been imprisoned ever since, and faces charges which include "disrespect," "assault," "criminal incitement" and "public disorder" for which the government has previously indicated it is seeking to impose a 10-year prison sentence.
His family was informed Dec. 3 that his trial was to take place on Dec. 7, 8 or 9; however, on Dec. 6, they were told the trial had been suspended indefinitely. CSW believes the lack of clarity about the trial dates is a government tactic to sow uncertainty and to increase pressure on the pastor and his family.
“We call yet again for the immediate and unconditional release of Rev. Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo who is innocent of the charges against him and has now spent five months arbitrarily detained in horrendous conditions. He and his family have experienced a clear pattern of harassment by Cuban State Security for over a decade because of their desire to practice their faith freely,” CSW’s Head of Advocacy Anna Lee Stangl said. “The government’s cynicism in rescheduling his trial for dates so close to Christmas, when the pastor, his family and church should be preparing for celebrations together, is sadly not surprising. The refusal to supply specific details including the exact day, time and location of his trial continues to demonstrate that this will not be a fair or transparent process. We urge the international community to maintain scrutiny and pressure on the Cuban authorities in relation to this case until Rev. Rosales Fajardo is free.”
On Dec. 7, CSW attempted to hand in a ,-signature petition to the Cuban Embassy in London calling for the pastor’s immediate release. Cuban embassy officials refused to receive the petition. When the petition and other materials calling for Rev. Rosales Fajardo’s release were delivered under the door, a poster reading “Free Pastor Lorenzo" was torn up and pushed back outside along with the petition. 

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