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Prof. Sison Exposes Before European Court of First Instance the Injustice Done to Him by Dutch and European Authorities
By the International DEFEND Committee
3 June 2006

In the hearing of Case No. 47/03, Jose Maria Sison versus the Council of the European Union, before the European Court of First Instance on May 30, 2006 in Luxembourg, the judges elicited important admissions from the counsel of the Dutch government as intervener on the side of the Council.

The counsel of the Dutch government admitted that "indications" of Prof. Sison's involvement in alleged criminal acts were last drawn by the Dutch government from secret dossiers of the Dutch intelligence agency in 1993 and that said indications were last examined by The Hague Rechtbank (the Rechtseenheidkamer) and taken into account in its 11 September 1997 decision on the appeal of Prof. Sison to be admitted as refugee and be granted residence permit.

The lawyers of the Dutch government and the Council of the European Union misrepresented The Hague Rechtbank as the competent judicial authority providing the basis for the inclusion of Prof. Sison in the Council's "terrorist" blacklist. But the decision of said court dealt with the appeal of Prof. Sison in his asylum case.

The misrepresentation is glaring against the fact that The Hague Rechtbank in 1997, like the Raad van State in 1992 and 1995, ruled that Prof. Sison is a political refugee within the meaning of Article 1 A of the Refugee Convention against the insistence of the Dutch state secretary of justice that Prof. Sison should be excluded under Article 1 F of the Convention on alleged indications of criminal liability based on secret intelligence dossiers.

The three Dutch court decisions of 1992, 1995 and 1997 acknowledged the interest of the Dutch government in an asylum case but concluded and ruled that Prof. Sison is a political refugee within the meaning of Article 1 A of the Refugee Convention against the active efforts of the Dutch state secretary of justice to exclude him on the basis of uncontested and unproven "indications", suspicions or allegations.

What is most embarrassing to the Council of the European Union and the Dutch government is that no less than the Philippine government, which is supposed to have jurisdiction over events in the Philippines, issued in 1998 a certification that there was no pending criminal charge against Prof. Sison.

Since 1998, the Philippine government has not filed any valid criminal charge against Prof. Sison. It often makes false allegations against him in the mass media. But the few cases that have reached the prosecutor's office or even the sala of a Philippine court have been routinely debunked as without factual and legal basis and either dismissed or archived due to lack of merit and the lack of jurisdiction.

The Philippine government has been the original source of false criminal allegations against Prof. Sison, involving events in the Philippines. The false allegations have always been either subversion (up to 1992), rebellion or common crimes. Never for acts of terrorism so-called because there is yet no terrorism law in the Philippine system of criminal law. The Dutch government and Council of the European Union are complete liars in transmuting the alleged political crime of rebellion and alleged common crimes in the Philippines as acts of terrorism.

As regards to his behavior in The Netherlands and the whole of Europe, Prof. Sison has been a paragon of lawful behavior. The Dutch government has never found cause to initiate any criminal investigation or prosecution against him. It cannot cite a single act of terrorism in the Philippines or abroad by which it can accuse Prof. Sison of committing, participating in or facilitating terrorism.

It is utterly silly to describe as terrorist someone who, as chief political consultant of the negotiating panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, has worked so hard to push forward the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and to help realize such a highly significant achievement as the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.

It is absolutely absurd for the Council of the European Union and the Dutch government to impute the crime of terrorism against Prof. Sison, to blacklist him as a "terrorist" and to impose sanctions against him, such as the freezing of the joint postal bank account with his wife (all the money therein originates from the Dutch social welfare agency) and terminating his social benefits (living allowance, housing and health insurance). These sanctions are fallaciously described by the Council as merely preventive and restrictive administrative measures to stop the financing of terrorism and combat terrorism.

But these sanctions are in fact punitive and proceed from the false imputation of the crime of terrorism and violate the rights of Prof. Sison to life and the essential means of human existence, to the enjoyment of his possessions, to due process and presumption of innocence, against inhuman and degrading treatment and to privacy and family life. His stigmatization as a "terrorist" constitutes public incitement of hatred and violence against his physical and moral integrity.

The Dutch government and the Council of the European Union are persecuting Prof. Sison and are violating his fundamental rights. They are unwittingly undermining human rights and sowing the ground with the dragon teeth of fascism. ###

For reference:

Ruth de Leon
International Coordinator
Committee DEFEND
Telephone: +31-30-8895306
Email: defenddemrights@yahoo.com

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