Baptist Pastor39s wife arrested

21 Oct 2014

Yoaxis Mercheco Suarez, wife of Baptist Pastor and religious freedom activist Rev. Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso, was arrested in the town of Remedios in the province of Villa Clara on 16 October.

During her arrest, Yoaxis Marcheco Suarez was pressured to sign an Official Warning or “Acta de Advertencia”, a document that can be used as justification for future arrests and criminal charges, but did not. She was also told to stop having contact with “counter-revolutionary” elements or risk imprisonment. Another pastor, Yordanis Santi Perez, was arrested and interrogated at the same time.

Yoaxis Marcheco Suarez is the wife of Cuban Baptist pastor and religious freedom activist Reverend Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso, who similarly resisted pressure to sign an Acta de Advertencia in an interview with the security services on 8 October. 

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, “We reiterate our call for the Cuban government to cease its harassment of Reverend Lleonart Barroso, his wife Yoaxis Marcheco Suarez and their family. The Cuban government must be held to account for its ongoing violations of the religious freedom of its citizens and its harassment of those who are involved in documenting these violations. We urge members of the international community to make representations to the Cuban government in support of Reverend Lleonart Barroso and his family, as well as other church leaders who are being targeted by the authorities.”

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