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Overseas Filipinos and Canadians celebrate the delisting
of Professor Jose Maria Sison from European Union's list
of foreign terrorists: Challenges Canada to do the same


17 July 2007

As peace- and freedom-loving overseas Filipinos and Canadians, we meet the news of the annulment of Professor Jose Maria Sison's inclusion on the European Union's list of foreign terrorists with great joy.

The European Court of First Instance (ECFI) annulled the Council of the European Union (EU) decision blacklisting Prof. Sison as a "terrorist" in the judgment issued in Luxembourg on July 11, 2007 on the case of Jose Maria Sison versus the Council of the European Union.

While we celebrate the ECFI's decision, at the same time, we criticize both the Philippine and Dutch governments' attempts to undercut this favourable decision for Prof. Sison. Both governments are trying to maintain that the latest verdict only applies to an older list where Prof. Sison's name appears and not the latest June 29, 2007 EU "terrorist list" which includes Prof. Sison.

Since Prof. Sison's listing on the EU, United States and Canadian governments' "foreign terrorist" lists in 2002, overseas Filipinos and Canadians have been calling for his removal -- joining with people around the world who also see the arbitrary and dangerous labeling of Prof. Sison as a "terrorist" to be an affront to democracy, justice and the people's legitimate right to struggle for national and social liberation.

Professor Sison, as the Chief Political Consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), embodies the aspirations and struggle of the Filipino people in the over 30-year old revolutionary war they are waging for the country's national and social liberation. As a notable staunch anti-imperialist, he also personifies the spirit of true and genuine international solidarity necessary to bring about a just and lasting peace.

The labeling of Prof. Sison as a "terrorist" after the U.S. declared its so-called 'global war on terror' in 2001 was, not only a direct attack on Prof. Sison and his family, but on all peace- and freedom-loving people and anti-imperialists around the world.

In Canada, we are all-too-familiar with the damaging effects of reactionary and repressive anti-terrorism measures that put innocent civilians such as Maher Arar through unjustified persecution.

As we proclaimed in our 2004 conference 'Laws, Labels, and Liberation: the Case of Professor Jose Maria Sison': "It is incumbent upon all, particularly those in the belly of the beast struggling in solidarity with Third World peoples fighting for national liberation, to expose and oppose the so-called anti-terrorism measures and the so-called "war on terrorism" and the dominance of imperialism all over the world."

Therefore, as we join with Prof. Sison, the people of the Philippines, and the world in celebrating his removal from the EU "terrorist" list, we take this opportunity to challenge the Canadian government to follow suit.

As a country that professes to be a champion of human rights and democracy, the Canadian government must immediately and unconditionally remove Prof. Sison from its "foreign terrorist" list under the UN Suppression of Terrorism Financing Regulations.

STATEMENT OF:
o Philippines-Canada Task Force on Human Rights
o SIKLAB-Canada (Advance the Rights & Welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers and Their Families)
o Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada/Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance - National
o International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) participating organizations in Canada
--
British Columbia Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (BCCHRP)
"Celebrating 25 years of solidarity with the Filipino people for genuine peace, democracy and freedom!"
Member of the Philippines-Canada Task Force for Human Rights (PCTFHR)
c/o Kalayaan Centre, 451 Powell Street, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V6A 1G7
Phone/Fax: 604.215.1905 | http://www.kalayaancentre.net
To sign onto on-line URGENT ACTIONS please visit: http://www.psacbc.com/philippines/

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