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DEFEND SISON CAMPAIGN
Professor Jose Maria Sison from the witch hunt “terrorist” lists!
We, concerned human rights activists, lawyers, community organizers and members of organizations working in solidarity with Third World peoples, condemn the unabated attacks of U.S. imperialism against the human rights and civil liberties of Professor Jose Maria Sison. We condemn these attacks not only because they infringe on his rights as an individual, but also because we find them all the more reprehensible as they are only one part of U.S. imperialism’s offensive against the genuine right of oppressed peoples to struggle for national and social liberation.
It has been two years since August 12, 2002, when Professor Sison was arbitrarily added as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” to the U.S. Treasury Department’s blacklist. His name unjustly remains on the list to this day, apparently for an indefinite period of time. The Netherlands, Canada, the European Union are amongst the countries that have blindly followed the lead of the U.S. and added his name on their lists as well.
Professor Sison is a noted Filipino patriot, writer and revolutionary leader, now living in exile in the Netherlands. He is the founding chair of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). He is a legitimate, recognized political refugee under international law. As chief political consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), he is also a key figure in the decade-long peace negotiations between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).
We believe that Professor Sison is not a “terrorist,” and note that there is no formal outstanding criminal charge against him anywhere in the world. In spite of the absence of any legal basis or jurisdiction to label him as a “global terrorist,” U.S. imperialism and its allies deprive him of the essential means for human existence without any due process. His social benefits as a refugee were terminated; his housing threatened; his opportunity to work denied. Recently, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury Department froze Professor Sison’s advance royalty from the American publisher of the book, Jose Maria Sison: At Home in the World (Portrait of a Revolutionary), Conversations with Ninotchka Rosca. He lives under grave threat to his life and security.
The “terrorist” label against Professor Sison serves the aims of U.S. imperialism and its allies. It is used as a tool to blackmail the NDFP into capitulating. But it succeeds only in paralyzing the peace talks because the NDFP does not want to be under duress. Despite empty promises to take effective measures to seek the removal of Professor Sison from these lists, the GRP stands on the sidelines, falsely claiming that the U.S. has the sovereign right to label whomever they wish to be a terrorist and shamelessly allowing it to violate the national sovereignty and jurisdiction of the Filipino people.
The inclusion of Professor Sison, the CPP and the New People’s Army (NPA) on these lists provides a clear example of how they are used to misrepresent and demonize genuine national liberation struggles. The CPP / NPA, along with other member organizations of the NDFP, express its full adherence to international humanitarian law and have never targeted non-combatants. They do not operate within the jurisdiction, nor threaten the security, of those countries that have labelled them. Yet the CPP / NPA has recently been re-designated as a “foreign terrorist organization” for a further two years by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. Despite well-settled principles of international humanitarian law that distinguish between national liberation movements and so-called “terrorist” groupings, U.S. imperialism shamelessly used the events of September 11 as a pretext to launch the permanent, borderless “war on terrorism,” to whip up anti-terrorist hysteria, to expand the “terrorist” lists and to further deepen imperialist penetration of national economies.
With this understanding and analysis, we urge all who wish to uphold the sovereignty of oppressed peoples and who work for human rights to unconditionally expose and oppose these unjust anti-terrorist laws. Let us work in solidarity with those unjustly labelled, like Professor Sison. We vow to continue the international campaign to defend his rights, which has already garnered tens of thousands of signatures in support of his removal from these lists. We will support his precedent-setting legal case which is pending before the European Court of Justice. Moreover, we will be vigilant and continue to educate, organize and mobilize ourselves against U.S. imperialism’s futile attempts to suppress the efforts of oppressed peoples to liberate themselves from imperialist exploitation and dominance.
Immediately and unconditionally remove Professor Sison and the CPP / NPA from the witch hunt “terrorist” lists!
Expose and oppose the use of these lists to demonize genuine national liberation struggles!
No! to the U.S.-led wars of aggression, occupation and re-colonization!
Down with U.S. imperialism!
anti-imperialist, international solidarity!