Family of detained Cuban pastor evicted from their home

Claudia and Yarian with their son.

The family of a pastor detained after nationwide protests across Cuba have been evicted from their home. 

Pastor Yarian Sierra Madrigal was detained alongside his colleague Yéremi Blanco Ramírez and has been held in the wing of a women's prison in Matanzas since 11 July. 

Conditions in the prison are said by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) to be "poor". 

Now the human rights group reports that Pastor Sierra's wife, Claudia Salazar, and their young son have been forced to leave their home after threats to their landlord. 

CSW said the landlord was told by state security that his property would be confiscated if he continued to house the pastor's family. 

They were evicted on 18 July and are now being sheltered at a local church. 

The eviction came a day after a public statement by Mrs Salazar in which she criticised the Cuban authorities for detaining her husband and Pastor Blanco. 

"My husband Yarian Sierra and our friend and brother, Yeremi Blanco, are honorable Cuban citizens," she wrote.

"They have dedicated all of their youth and lives to serve the church and to serve others. Family men. Loving fathers, loving husbands, with an impeccable life testimony.

"They are not any kind of delinquent, nor are they low-lifes as those who govern this country call them.

"They are good men, they are men of God, who think differently, who abhor communism and who went out to express this just like any human being has the right to think and to say what they feel."

Sources have told CSW of a third Protestant pastor, Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo, currently being detained in a state security facility in Santiago.

He was detained with his 17-year-old son who has since been released and is described by his mother as being "psychologically traumatized" by his experience.

The Cuban government plans to charge both Fajardo and his son with with 'disrespect' and 'public disorder'. Fajardo is facing an additional charge relating to 'attacks.' 

CSW's Head of Advocacy Anna-Lee Stangl said: "The decision to evict Claudia Salazar and her son, particularly at this distressing time, is a vindictive and cruel act by the Cuban authorities, who should instead be concentrating their efforts on taking the calls of the ongoing nationwide protests seriously.

"We continue to call for the immediate and unconditional release of pastors Sierra Madrigal, Blanco Ramírez, and Rosales Fajardo and for all others detained in connection with the exercise of their fundamental human rights, and for the charges against Pastor Rosales Fajardo's son to be dropped."