Lawyer and journalist Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces was sentenced to hard labor and imprisonment for seeking to provide legal assistance to jailed homeschooling parents, Ramon and Adiya Rigal.
The Municipal Court of the city of Guantanamo, Cuba, said Haces was guilty of the crime of resistance and disobedience.
Haces reported that he was beaten and then detained for five days after he sought to assist the Rigals with their legal defense at their trial for homeschooling their two children. Both parents, as well as another homeschooling father, Golkis Almaguer, remain in prison.
Haces is appealing his sentence and remains at liberty pending the outcome of the appeal.
“I do not expect anything from Castroism, but I will not kneel before the oppressors of the people of Cuba,” said the journalist in a text published last week on Cubanet.
Haces told Cubanet that he “appreciates the support that I have received during these years from those who give me the honor of reading my articles and, of course, the brothers of the leadership of Cubanet and Radio Martí for their permanent solidarity.
“No one will give us freedom,” he concluded. “It is an option that is within us. Together with many other compatriots, I have chosen to be free, and I don’t think I am doing anything extraordinary. I am in the hands of God.”
Standing in Support
HSLDA Senior Counsel Michael Donnelly released a statement in response to the court’s action.
“HSLDA condemns the jailing of attorney Haces for seeking to assist jailed Cuban homeschooling parents Ramon and Adiya Rigal,” he said.
“Cuba’s imprisonment of this lawyer and these parents ranks among the worst kind of persecution. Parents have a fundamental human right to decide how their children are educated. The right to independent legal representation is also a minimum of any country that follows the rule of law.
“We call on Cuba to release the Rigal family and attorney Haces. We call on the Trump administration to do whatever they can to assist these individuals and to acknowledge this treatment as persecution.”
HSLDA’s mission to advance homeschooling freedom includes seeking justice for families abroad who are persecuted on account of educating their children at home. It is our privilege to bring their cause to the attention of authorities and to work to seek their release.
You can ask United States authorities to act in this case by clicking here!