A Cuban pastor and his wife are now reportedly being tortured after having been imprisoned for homeschooling their children.
Last April, OneNewsNow reported that Pastor Ramón Rigal and his wife, Ayda Expósito, were sentenced to two to three years in prison for homeschooling their children. Mike Donnelly, an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association, says now there are reports officials are retaliating against the pastor through the use of punitive restrictions.
"We are getting reports saying that he is being tortured in prison and that his family is being targeted as the prison authorities attempt to get Pastor Rigal to denounce his faith, renounce homeschooling and all sorts of things, which violates the U.N. convention against torture," he explains.
According to HSLDA, Pastor Rigal was initially arrested in 2017 for homeschooling and served a year in prison – and subsequently had been watched closely by Cuban officials after other Cuban families were inspired to follow his example. He and his wife were sentenced again in April 2019; and soon thereafter, a fellow homeschooling couple was also imprisoned.
Donnelly tells OneNewsNow of a resolution in the U.S. Senate (S.Res.215) that calls out the mistreatment of the Rigals and others. He's hopeful it could have an impact on the situation in Cuba.
"You know, when you call attention to totalitarian regimes' behavior against victims, oftentimes it helps the victims. Sometimes it doesn't, but oftentimes it does," he acknowledges. "[But] we're asking people to go to our website … and take action by … sending a message to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and their U.S. senators."
Donnelly says the Rigals' two children are being cared for by family members.