After Arbitrary Detention of U.S. President Medal of Freedom Recipient Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet, GLA Urges the U.S. Move Swiftly to Impose Sanctions on Cuba’s Religion Police

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Washington, DC – Early today 7 Cuban State Security officers entered the home in Havana, Cuba of U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Dr. Óscar Elías Biscet and his wife, Elsa Morejón. Dr. Biscet was released late this afternoon, after paying a fine of 500 CUP.

Dr. Biscet is no stranger to the regime’s brutal tactics. And regrettably, this is not an isolated incident. It’s part of the systematic targeting of civil society in the last two years of anyone who seeks to exercise their fundamental rights. The U.S. government should, among other things, sanction Cuba’s Religion Police and anyone involved in the arbitrary detention of dissidents and civil society leaders,” said Jason Poblete, Attorney, Global Liberty Alliance.

According to Elsa Morejón’s Tweets, some of which have since been deleted, regime officials confiscated computers, cellular phones, a camera, documents, and Internet cables. Cuban police records state that they did this on suspicion that objects were acquired illicitly. 

Dr. Biscet, who was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 2007, was featured in a video on religious persecution at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 6, as was reported on our website earlier. He served over twelve years in prison on two different sentences for promoting human rights in Cuba, is currently on parole for the rest of his 25-year sentence, and has been denied the ability to leave the country for several years. 

On August 19, 2019, the GLA and two other NGOs urged the Trump administration to impose economic sanctions and restrict U.S. visas to officials of Cuba’s Office of Religious Affairs. You can find the letter and release on the GLA website here.