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Possible Kidnapping of Prof. Jose Maria Sison is Politically Disastrous to the US

Committee DEFEND
16 December 2005

Despite threats of kidnapping by the United States, Filipino political exile Professor Jose Maria Sison is legally well protected by the European Convention on Human Rights and the Refugee Convention.

Thus declared Committee DEFEND in statement released yesterday. DEFEND is an international formation and network of organizations, institutions, groups and individuals supporting Prof. Sison in the fight against his illegal inclusion in the so-called terrorist listing.

"It is true that Prof. Jose Maria Sison is exposed to the threat of US kidnapping in Europe and is being subjected to persecution by the Dutch government, including mental torture and inhuman and degrading treatment," asserts Committee DEFEND.

It argues, however, that "Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights clearly prohibits his transfer by deportation or extradition to any country where he is at risk of being subjected to execution, torture or inhuman, cruel and degrading treatment".

According to Ruth De Leon, international coordinator of DEFEND, it would be politically disastrous for US President Bush and his administration to allow their covert operatives to carry out Prof. Sison's kidnapping. De Leon said Bush' political popularity poll is at its lowest even among his allies at home and abroad.

"The Bush administration will pay a heavy political price if it goes ahead with the threat to kidnap Prof. Sison," De Leon emphasized.

The US has recently been exposed and denounced as having unlawfully "renditioned" (US euphemism for kidnapping) citizens and residents of European countries in order to have them detained and tortured in CIA prisons in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

Committee DEFEND said it has been wary over the recent visit of US intelligence czar John Negroponte in Manila that was followed by a "sudden spate of propaganda claims by the civil and military officials of the Arroyo regime that the CPP and NPA are responsible for bombing incidents and a threat of such to the US and other foreign embassies".

"Some Manila mass media have also been echoing the false claims of the military and police authorities that Prof. Sison has ordered the tactical offensives of the NPA and is responsible for the NPA punishment of the notorious Marcos-time torturer Col. Rodolfo Aguinaldo. We assert the truth that the Central Committee of the CPP and the National Command of the NPA make decisions and take actions in the Philippines. Not Professor Sison," DEFEND stressed.

DEFEND said Prof. Sison benefits from the legal counsel of at least 40 lawyers of various nationalities on a pro bono or pro Deo basis in the US, the Philippines, The Netherlands and Europe. ###

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