“Political police” allegedly beat a Cuban Christian man after his arrest last year for “pre-criminal social dangerousness,” according to a watchdog group’s report.
Watchdog group NGO Christian Solidarity Worldwide says that Misael Diaz Paseiro was arrested on Oct. 22. State security agents confiscated two bibles, crucifixes and five rosaries from his house.
“Misael, in addition to being a counter-revolutionary, you are also a Christian,” CSW quoted a police official as telling Paseiro. “You should look at us, we are revolutionaries and we don’t believe in your God. Our god is Fidel Castro.”
Initially, Paseiro was not allowed access to his bible while in prison. He also was not allowed to have a priest visit.
In response, Paseiro’s wife, Ariana López Roque, went on a 19-day hunger strike.
In a report released this month by CSW, there were some 325 religious freedom violations in Cuba in 2017.
“CSW is deeply concerned by the growing number and severity of [religious freedom] violations reported by a wide variety of denominations and religious groups, which seem to show that the government is attempting to tighten its control over the activities and membership of religious groups,” the CSW report reads.
“It is essential that the European Union, the United States, and other governments in dialogue with Cuba use their positions to press for improvements to religious freedom and the general human rights situation in the country.”