Officials increase threats in interrogations of Yoe Suárez
MIAMI (Morning Star News) – Intelligence officials in Cuba have increased harassment of an independent journalist, summoning the Christian and his mother twice in the past two weeks to threaten harsh consequences if he continues reporting on human rights issues, sources said.
As part of his Christian calling, Yoe Suárez has reported for non-state media outlets in Cuba since 2014 about human rights and freedom of religion issues, including the imprisonment of husband-and-wife pastoral team Ramón Rigal and Adya Expósito. They were imprisoned in April 2019 for homeschooling their children.
Following a series of interrogations and threats by Cuba’s Department of State Security (DSE, the island domestic intelligence branch) over the past year, an intelligence official identifying himself as a second-in-command-for-the-press summoned Suárez and his mother on April 3 to the Siboney Police Station, Playa municipality in Havana, according to Suárez.
The official, who identified himself as “Captain Jorge,” issued a series of implied threats to Suárez’s mother about consequences her 29-year-old son would suffer if he continued working as a reporter outside of Cuban intelligence controls, Suárez said.
“He told us, ‘You don´t know what a dungeon is, or what it is to have a patrol in front of your house,’” Suárez told Morning Star News.
Suárez added that the official said, “The Office of the Prosecutor and Minors can intervene,” suggesting they could take him into custody and also take custody of Suárez’s less than 2-year-old son. Cuban civil law’s Family Code states that “both parents, or one of them, will lose custody over their children when they are convicted as a sanction for a final sentence issued in criminal proceedings.”
“This time they were much less kind than the last,” Suárez told Morning Star News. “He mentioned to me an article of the penal code under which I qualified for the crime of mercenarism.”
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