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Professor Sison Slams Council of European Union
for Rights Violations in 'Terrorist' Listing


Committee DEFEND
1 June 2007

[Utrecht, 1 June] In a press conference Thursday at the international office of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, Professor Jose Maria Sison slammed the US, Dutch and Manila authorities for having collaborated to persecute him since 1988.

He said that he was recognized as a political refugee by the highest Dutch administrative court in 1992 and 1995, but that the Dutch executive officials denied him legal admittance and residence as a political refugee because of the pressures of both the US and Philippine governments.

He pointed out, "The Philippine government provided false information to the Dutch government in my asylum case but eventually declared and certified in 1998 that there was no criminal charge pending against me". The subversion charge in 1988 had been nullified by the repeal of the Anti-Subversion in 1992 and the complaint of multiple murder in 1991 had been dismissed as purely speculative by the Manila city prosecutors in 1994.

Prof. Sison protested that the US, Dutch government and the Council of the European Union had used since 2002 the same false allegations from the Philippine government to designate and list him as a "terrorist". He averred that the Dutch and European authorities had absolutely no legal and factual basis to put him in the "terrorist" blacklist.

He accused the Dutch and European authorities of malice and mendacity in misrepresenting as amounting to criminal conviction for terrorism the Dutch court judgments on his asylum case in 1995 and 1997. He stressed that in fact both judgments ruled favorably that he is a political refugee and that he has not committed any crime against humanity.

He lambasted the Council of the European Union for having blacklisted him and subjected him to punitive sanctions for the heinous crime of terrorism, without informing him of any specific act of terrorism of which he is suspected. He decried that in fact he is being held culpable without any proper criminal investigation, hearing or trial.

He called attention to the bias of the EU Council to retain him in the blacklist, on the basis of all the blatantly false allegations previously debated and debunked before the European Court of First Instance. He said that the Council is being deaf to the just demand to define the procedure and the basis for listing and delisting an individual or organization.

He called on the Council to de-list him because he had been unjustly blacklisted for more than four years already without any legal and factual basis.

He appealed to the Dutch and other peoples in the European Union to support him in the struggle to defend his human rights. He also mentioned the human rights and solidarity organizations supporting his cause. Theo Droog of the Dutch-Filipino Solidarity read the open letter of a prominent Dutch religious leader Reverend Hans Visser, urging the Dutch authorities to stop violating the human rights of Prof. Sison and depriving him of his social benefits.

Since the time Prof. Sison applied for political asylum in 1988, he has been prohibited from taking regular employment in The Netherlands. But since his designation in 2002 as a "terrorist", the Dutch authorities have terminated his social benefits, such as living allowance, housing, health insurance, civil liability insurance and old age pension.

He protested thus, "I have been treated worse than a convicted murderer, who has gone through a judicial process and is assured of the essential means of human existence while in prison."

"My rights are so flagrantly violated, including my right to be informed of the specific crime that I am being accused of, to presumption of innocence, to due process, to defense, to the essential means of human existence, to the most basic right to life, to family union and privacy, and to security from damage to my moral and physical integrity."

The press conference Thursday was organized by the Committee to Defend Progressive Filipinos in Europe (Committee DEFEND) and was watched live, via video conference, by Filipino migrants and journalists in Canada, Hong Kong, Australia and the Philippines. #

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