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International Defend Committee Denounces Dutch Government for Relentlessly Persecuting Prof. Jose Maria Sison
International DEFEND Committee

We, the International DEFEND Committee, vigorously denounce the Dutch government for relentlessly persecuting Prof. Jose Maria Sison and inflicting on him mental anguish and inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Refugee Convention.

The Dutch government has persecuted and ill-treated Prof. Sison in view of the following facts:

1. In violation of the Refugee Convention, the Dutch government allowed the US and Philippine governments to intervene in the asylum case of Prof. Sison from 1988 to 1997 and accepted as true, on the basis of secret intelligence dossiers, the false allegations against him in the name of "maintaining responsibility and credibility to allied states".

2. Since then the aforesaid allegations against Prof. Sison have been proven false by the acts of the Philippine government. In 1992, the 1988 charge of subversion against him was nullified by the repeal of the Anti-Subversion Law as a bill of attainder and an oppressive law. In 1994, the complaint of multiple murder in connection with the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing (which had been done by Marcos agents against the opposition) was dismissed as sheer speculation in a resolution of the Manila prosecutors' office. In 1998, the Philippine secretary of justice issued an official certification that there was no pending criminal charge against Prof. Sison, thus proving that the Dutch government was merely echoing politically-motivated lies from previous regimes in the Philippines.

3. The Dutch government ignored the judgments of the Raad van State (Council of State) in 1992 and 1995 and the Rechtseenheidskamer (Law Unification Chamber) in 1997 that Prof. Sison is a political refugee within the meaning of Article 1 A of the Refugee Convention and does not fall within the meaning of Article 1 F despite the insistence of the Dutch government that he is criminally liable for unproven allegations in secret intelligence dossiers. The Dutch government did not grant to Prof. Sison legal admittance as refugee and residence. This was contrary to the 1995 judgment of the Raad van State that the Dutch government was obliged to grant him admittance as a refugee and residence if there was no country that he could transfer to, without being put at risk of torture and other ill treatment in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention.

4. The Dutch government never apologized to Prof. Sison for using against him lies or false accusations from the US and Philippine governments (particularly their intelligence agencies) in order to prevent his legal admittance as refugee and residence in The Netherlands, despite the 1998 certification of the Philippine government that completely cleared him of any criminal liability. Since 1998, the Philippine government has never filed in court against Prof. Sison any valid charge for any crime. Neither have the Dutch and US governments started any criminal investigation or filed any formal criminal charge against him before any court of law.

5. There is yet no valid criminal charge against Prof. Sison, despite the Arroyo regime's flurry of politically motivated accusations against him in the mass media since 2003. All the accusations hurled by the regime against him have fatal defects in fact and in law. At the same time, Prof. Sison is beyond the jurisdiction of the Philippine government because he is under the absolute protection of Article 3 of the European Convention as well as by virtue of Philippine law which takes into account the absence of an extradition treaty between the Philippine and Dutch states.

6. Notwithstanding all the foregoing facts, the Dutch government has collaborated again with the US and Philippine governments since August 2002 in persecuting Prof. Sison by labeling and listing him as a "terrorist", requesting other governments in the Council of the European Union to do likewise, depriving him permanently of the essential means of human existence (living allowance, housing, health insurance, civil liability insurance and the AOW pension) and violating so many rights under the European Treaty as well as under the European Convention on Human Rights. Thus, he has filed complaints before the Luxembourg-based European Court of First Instance against the Council of the European Union for unjustly including him in the so-called terrorist blacklist and also before the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights against the Dutch state for violating his fundamental human rights.

7. The Dutch government and Council of the European Union have violated the following rights of Prof. Sison:

a) the right to human life and dignity,
b) the right to the essential means of human existence,
c) the right to enjoy one's possessions,
d) the right against discrimination and the equal protection of the law,
e) the right to due process,
f) the right to presumption of innocence,
g) the right against physical and mental torture and any inhuman and degrading treatment,
h) the right to private and family life,
i) the right to speak and associate with others,
j) the right to freedom of movement,
k) the right to practice one's profession and to develop professionally,
l) the right to engage in commerce,
m) the right against trial by publicity and protection of one's name and reputation, and
n) the right against public incitement of hatred and violence against one's moral and physical integrity.

8. The Dutch government is extremely vicious towards Prof. Sison. It publicly labels, slanders and stigmatizes him as a "terrorist". And yet it cannot cite a single probable act of terrorism against him as basis to start a criminal investigation against him. Then it proceeds to intensify the demonization of Prof. Sison by pushing the inclusion of his name in the "terrorist" blacklist of the Council of the European Union. It imputes the grave crime of terrorism against him and imposes on him severe penalties, which are misrepresented as mere administrative restrictive sanctions. It has prevented him for a long time from getting gainful employment and in the name of anti-terrorism it deprives him of the social benefits for the essentials of human existence.

9. Not only has the Dutch government failed to apologize to Prof. Sison for using false accusations of crime against him in the period of 1988 to 1997 in his asylum case but it is recycling the same lies in connection with the current false accusation of terrorism. Before the European Court of First Instance, the Dutch government and the Council of the European Union are misrepresenting the 1992 and 1995 judgments of the Raad van State and the 1997 judgment of the REK on the asylum case of Prof. Sison as providing the competent judicial authority and basis for putting him in the "terrorist" blacklist. On the contrary, all the three aforesaid court judgments concluded and ruled that he is a political refugee under Article 1 A of the Refugee Convention against the insistence of the Dutch state secretary of justice that he is criminally liable and should be excluded under Article 1 F. In their submissions to the European Court of First Instance, the Dutch government and the Council misrepresent as facts, conclusions and rulings of the three Dutch courts portions of their judgments which merely acknowledge and sum up the position of Dutch state secretary of justice relative to the secret intelligence dossiers.

10. As publicly admitted by the Dutch foreign ministry in its country report on the Philippines updated in August 2005, the Dutch government had followed the request of the US government to list Prof. Sison as "terrorist" on 13 August 2002 and to freeze his assets. In this connection, it is collaborating with the US and Philippine governments in the use of the false accusation of "terrorism" for the political purpose of pressuring the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to capitulate to the Philippine government. Thus, the Dutch government is applying severe sanctions against Prof. Sison (who is the NDFP chief political consultant) and threatening to expel him from The Netherlands on the false presumption that he has a valid travel document and that therefore he has decided to leave The Netherlands voluntarily and give up the protection of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Refugee Convention.

In view of the foregoing facts, the International DEFEND Committee is alerting and urging all its national committees and supporting organizations and individuals, the human rights organizations and advocates in general and the broad masses of the people of the world to conduct various types of activities (forums, seminars, publications and protest mass actions) to expose, condemn and oppose the continuing persecution and ill treatment of Prof. Jose Maria Sison in The Netherlands.

International DEFEND Committee

Ruth de Leon
International Coordinator
23 May 2006

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