More than Two Dozen Civil Society Organizations, Parliamentarians Urge Cuba to Invite UN Religious Freedom Expert to Visit Country
More Than Two Dozen Civil Society Organizations, Parliamentarians Urge Cuba To Invite UN Religious Freedom Expert To Visit Country
MIAMI, FL – Outreach Aid to the Americas (OAA), together with the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (IPPFoRB), today released an open letter to the Cuban government urging it to invite the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Dr. Nazila Ghanea, to undertake a visit to Cuba to assessment religious freedom conditions on the island. The letter is signed by more than two dozen civil society organizations and current or former parliamentarians from a variety of countries including The Gambia, Lesotho, Macedonia, Malawi, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Peru, Thailand, Timor Leste, and the United Kingdom.
The letter outlines reasons for concern about the ability of all Cubans to freely practice their faith and beliefs without fear of government restrictions, intimidation or punishment. These reasons include repressive actions taken by the Cuban government against peaceful demonstrators, including numerous religious leaders of different faith traditions, during and since the historic mass protests of July 11, 2021.
OAA President and CEO Dr. Teo Babun said:
“The Cuban government has long insisted that there truly is religious freedom in Cuba. In that case it should welcome a visit by the newly appointed UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Dr. Nazila Ghanea, to assess the state of this fundamental human right on the island. As individuals and organizations committed to the full enjoyment of freedom of religion or belief for all, the civil society organizations and parliamentarians who have signed this letter would eagerly welcome such a step.”
Norwegian parliamentarian and IPPFoRB Steering Group Chair Abid Raja said:
“We believe that a fact-finding visit by the UN representative would facilitate transparent and systematic follow-up on relevant recommendations offered by UN Human Rights Council members ahead of Cuba’s May 2023 review. As with other visits carried out by the mandate holder in recent years, a country visit can serve as a constructive platform from which all stakeholders express their concerns, exchange views, and explore practical ways forward.”
Outreach Aid to the Americas (OAA) is a faith-based nonprofit dedicated to helping vulnerable communities in the Americas through humanitarian assistance, development programs, and human rights advocacy. Learn more at www.oaausa.org. For media inquiries, please contact Javier Peña at [email protected].