By Worthy News Staff with reporting by Worthy News' Stefan J. Bos
HAVANA, CUBA (Worthy News)-- The wife of jailed Cuban Pastor Omar Gude Perez faced a difficult weekend after authorities reportedly told her that the family home is to be confiscated. The family will be relocated to a significantly smaller apartment in poor conditions outside the city of Camaguey, said advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), which has closely monitored the case.
Kenia, the pastor’s wife, reportedly told officials that she and her children will not leave the home voluntarily, and has urged the European Union, and other members of the international community, to actively monitor the family’s situation.
Government officials have been threatening the family with eviction since last July, when Pastor Gude Perez was sentenced to a six year and seven month prison sentence on what Christians called "trumped up charges" of "falsification of documents." .
Christians have linked the sentencing to his work as leader of the ‘Apostolic Reformation’ group, a growing network of independent churches in Communist-run Cuba Kenia was told that the confiscation of the family home and their relocation was necessary because of "illicit gain," rights activists said.
However, CSW said Kenia was repeatedly warned by the authorities that she is being punished for continuing to inform international human rights organizations and foreign governments "about the human rights violations the family has suffered."
PAPERS HAND DELIVERED
The home, where the family has lived for the past eight years, is legally under the name of Pastor Omar Gude Perez, who is currently
being held in La Empresita prison in Camaguey, CSW said. "However, instead of citing him directly, papers were delivered by hand
to his wife," the group added.
CSW said, the family will be forced to move from what Kenia described as a large comfortable house in the city to a three bedroom
apartment in very bad condition. "The location of the apartment, outside the city, will make it difficult for the children to travel
to and from their school," CSW said.
CSW’s National Director, Stuart Windsor said "There is no justifiable reason for the confiscation of the family home, and the authorities’
targeting of innocent children is absolutely reprehensible."
He explained that his organization continues to demand the release of Pastor Gude Perez and insists that the government
"leaves Kenia and their two children in peace."
Cuba's government has denied wrongdoing and the existence of dissidents or religious prisoners, calling them instead "mercenaries"
of the United States.