Judgment of European Court of Justice on Sison Appeal
is Reminiscient of Medieval Inquisition and Fascist Times
By International DEFEND Committee
February 1, 2007
We, the International DEFEND Committee, hereby criticize and condemn the
judgment by the European Court of Justice dismissing the appeal of Prof. Jose
Maria Sison for access to the secret documents used by the Council of the
European Union in putting him in the so-called terrorist list and imposing on
him punitive sanctions.
The judgment is reminiscent of the medieval inquisition and fascist times. It
upholds the refusal of the Council of European Union to show the documents
used against Prof. Sison and to identify the particular states accusing him of
terrorism. Thus, his rights to the presumption of innocence, to due process
and to defense continue to be violated, as earlier pointed by the European
Office of Amnesty International.
The unjust and draconian rationalization used by the Council to prevent him
from scrutinizing and contesting the so-called sensitive documents is that the
access of Prof. Sison to these would "prejudice the operational fight against
terrorism and undermine public interests in the protection of public security
and international relations". In fact, the Council has failed to cite a single
incident or evidence of terrorism against him.
The heinous crime of terrorism is falsely imputed to Prof. Sison without any
proof. And yet punitive measures are imposed on him. These are deceptively
called temporary restrictive measures but they have already run for more than
four years since October 28, 2002 and include preventing him from taking
employment and legal residence and depriving him of the bare social benefits
for living allowance, health insurance and housing.
The issue of access to the particular documents used against Prof. Sison is
subsidiary to the main issue of "terrorist" listing, which is expected to be
decided soon by the European Court of First Instance. The judgment already
made by the European Court of Justice on the subsidiary issue is likely to
prejudice the anticipated decision of the European Court of First Instance
on the main issue whose hearings were concluded last May 30, 2006.
However, whatever is the outcome of the litigation on the main issue of
"terrorist" listing, Prof. Sison will continue to be protected by the European
Convention on Human Rights, especially by its Article 3 which prohibits his
forcible transfer to any country where he is at risk of torture, degrading or
inhuman treatment or punishment.
Even then, Prof. Sison has been subjected to persecution and inhuman and
degrading treatment for so long. He has long been recognized as a political
refugee by the Office of the UN High Commission on Refugees and by the
Dutch courts, but on the basis of secret intelligence dossiers he has been
denied legal residence and admittance as refugee.
Since 2002, he has been blacklisted as a "terrorist" and made to suffer punitive
sanctions on the basis of the false charge of terrorism. This is in line with the
Bush policy of promoting state repression and carrying out wars of aggression
in the name of a permanent and preemptive "global war on terror". Also in
this connection, the legal infrastructure for fascism has been laid in Europe
and other parts of the world. ###
Contact: Ruth de Leon,
International DEFEND Committee