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An Update on Sison`s case in the European Court
on Human Rights in Strasbourg


Submitted by
Dundar Gurses of the Netherlands
(As part of the Country Reports to the IAPL 3rd Congress,
Davao City, Philippines, 14 October 2006)

We all know about the terrorist listing of Prof. Jose Maria Sison.

At this point, there are three procedures pending:

- European Court of Justice in Luxembourg (Court of the European Union): procedure against the Council of the European Union in order to remove Sison from the EU Terrorist list
- European Court on Human Rights in Strasbourg: procedure against the Netherlands to annul the consequences of the terrorist listing by the EU
- Administrative procedure for his residence permit

The following is a short excerpt of the procedure in Strasbourg.

As a consequence of the publication of the "terrorist list" of the Netherlands on 13 August 2002 and of the Council of the European Union on 28 October 2002, the Netherlands terminated all social benefits being provided to Prof. Jose Maria Sison, specifically:

- His bank account was frozen under the apparent authority of the Netherlands's 13 August 2002 sanction regulations against terrorism.
- The termination of housing and social security including a living allowance, medical insurance, and liability insurance again under the apparent authority of the sanction regulations.

As a result of the Council of State's 28 September 2005 decisions, the detrimental effects of the actions of the Netherlands under the sanction regulations remain. Sison submits that these detrimental effects, which systematically deprive him of the basic and essential means of human existence, were reasonably foreseeable by the Netherlands.

By depriving him of the basic means of human existence and by relying on the false premise that Sison has a travel document, he submits that the Dutch government seeks to force him to leave The Netherlands. By misrepresenting that Sison has the legal means to voluntarily leave the Netherlands at anytime and, thus, by further misrepresenting that he can waive the absolute protection afforded to him under Article 3 of the ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights), he is at risk of expulsion or deportation by the Netherlands at anytime.

Sison complains against the following acts of the Netherlands, which he submits are violations of his rights under the ECHR and its protocols:

1. By misrepresenting Sison as having the legal means to voluntarily leave the Netherlands at anytime, the Dutch government creates the legal fiction that it can, thus, expel or deport Sison at anytime as he can voluntarily waive the protection of Article 3 of the ECHR. This is a clear violation of Article 3 of the ECHR and the general principle in international law of non-refoulement, which protects refugees from being returned to places where their lives or freedom could be threatened, provided for under, among other international instruments, Article 3 of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

2. Sison submits that the Netherlands violates the absolute prohibition in Article 3 of the ECHR against inhuman and degrading treatment. The actions to deprive him of the essential means of human existence and the resulting negative impacts on his physical and mental health are forms of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 3 of the ECHR. This treatment is also in violation of Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which declares that, "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."

3. Sison further submits that the Netherlands violates Article 2 of the ECHR by threatening his right to life. By depriving him of the essential means of human existence and by the incitement of public hatred and violence against him in being identified by his full name as a terrorist, the Netherlands is in clear violation of Article 2 of the ECHR. Furthermore, the Netherlands' acts are violations of Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that, "No one shall be subjected to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of law against such interference or attacks."

4. Sison's right to the peaceful enjoyment of possessions is violated by his being deprived of money in his bank account, consisting of a living allowance, savings for dental expenses not covered by his health insurance policy and insurance reimbursements. This is a violation of Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the ECHR.

5. Sison's right to due process is violated by his being deprived of his property without advance notice and a full and thorough hearing where he would have an opportunity to know the case against him and to present his case. Moreover, Sison is stigmatized as a terrorist by publication of his full name without any kind of criminal investigation by the Netherlands. Due process of law is provided for by Article 6 of the ECHR, Articles 10 and 11.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

6. Sison submits that the Netherlands discriminates against him on the basis of his political beliefs. Sison submits that the Netherlands's acts violate Article 14 of the ECHR and Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which afford an individual equal protection of the law. Specifically, Sison argues that he is deprived of the essential or minimal means of human existence, such as food and medical care, which The Netherlands must provide even to convicted criminals. By seeking to justify its actions on the basis of Sison's listing as a "terrorist," the Netherlands discriminates against him. Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is also, thus, violated.

7. Finally, Sison's right to respect for private and family life under Article 8 of the ECHR is violated by the continuing order to evict him from his current residence and expel him from The Netherlands on the basis of the misrepresentation that Sison has a valid travel document. The Netherlands has stated in court hearings that Sison can be immediately expelled and that he is now in so-called "injury time". Furthermore, the Netherlands publicly declared that Sison's wife has made herself guilty and criminally liable by harboring in her home Sison, who is branded a "terrorist". #

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