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13 Year-Old Pastor’s Daughter Detained and Threatened


ICC Note: It is absolutely despicable for the Cuban government to pressure a pastor by threatening his young daughter.

2/6/07 Cuba (Cuban Democratic Directorate) – A 13 year-old girl, Leyani Domínguez Velasquez, was arrested for the second time in less than one week by the political police in the town of Buenaventura , municipality Calixto Garcia in the Holguín province. The arrests are part of a repressive campaign against her stepfather, Delmides Fidalgo Lopez, a Christian pastor and president of the Christian Movement of Cuba.

According to the information provided by Juan Carlos González Leiva, a blind lawyer and president of the Cuban Human Rights Foundation, on February 5th, a State Security official and another agent who is in charge of minors in Buenaventura, locked her up in the administration office of the Buenaventura Secondary School, which she attends. The officials attempted to force her to declare that her stepfather had molested her. González Leiva assured that the officials threatened to transport her to Havana to put her through a lie detector test if she did not acquiesce; they also wanted to gain information, through the young girl, about Fidalgo Lopez’ pro-democratic and independent Christian activities. The interrogation against the 13 year-old lasted one hour.

According to independent journalist Tania Maceda Guerra, on February 2nd, the young girl was arrested at 4:25 in the afternoon by Captain Claudio, of the National Revolutionary Police, on her way home from school. “The captain forced the girl into the police unit, and then threatened her and used methods of psychological terror and coercion to force her to speak, telling her that she would be arrested if she did not inform him on the trip that her stepfather is planning to make to Havana, and also to inform about his ‘counter-revolutionary’ activities”. An hour later, Leyani was set free after she began to shout desperately.

According to Maceda Guerra the officials who held this young girl also threatened to take her to a juvenile prison, and they assured her that her step-father would be jailed in a maximum security prison.

Delmides Fidalgo Lopez is a pastor who founded the Christian Movement of Cuba on December of 2005, and is the current president. The group of pastors and other Christians is dedicated to preaching the gospel of Christ independently from the State. Fidalgo Lopez also collaborates with the Cuban Human Rights Foundation and maintains a civic attitude of denouncing human rights violations that are committed in Cuba .