is no terrorist
groups throw support to Sison
the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-HK) and Asian Students
to Alternative Reader Index
rights advocates, civil libertarians, Filipino migrants groups, local Hong Kong
associations, and HK-based non-government organizations staged a silent protest
in the Netherlands Consulate in Hong Kong to protest what they called as the “unjust
and inhuman actions of the Netherlands government to Prof. Jose Maria Sison.”
Two weeks ago, government authorities of Utrecht, where Sison resides,
ordered the suspension of subsidy given to Sison as a political refugee in the
Netherlands. Previously, the Dutch Minister of Finance froze the joint bank
account of Sison and his wife Julieta Sison de Lima.
“The freeze order and the subsequent stripping away of Professor Sison’s
basic needs to survive is a treacherous act that denies him of his right to
life,” said Connie Bragas-Regalado, chairperson of the United Filipinos in
Hong Kong (UNIFIL-HK) and an organizer of the silent protest.
“For the sole reason that the United States government tagged him as
terrorist, the Netherlands government has opted to become his judge and
executioner just because of such an unfounded and baseless US accusation,” added
Meanwhile, Helen Te Hira of the Asian Students Association (ASA), another
protest organizer, chided the Dutch government for what she called as “terrorism
against political dissenters and political refugees.”
“Since 1998, the Dutch government, together with the governments of US and the
Philippines has steadily pushed for the persecution of Joema Sison. He has been
denied the right to stay despite their recognition of him as a political
refugee. Now he is outrightly denied of his right to life by starving him and
forcing him out to live in the streets,” Te Hira said.
In a petition signed by the HK groups and submitted to the Dutch Consul General
AC Brouwer, the groups also aired their concern over the “process used by
governments to determine terrorists”. According to them, the case of Joema
has shown that it is “without transparency or acocuntability”, and
that persons accused are “not given the right to defend themselves.”
Regalado also warned that what is happening to Sison may also happen to
other political refugees.
“It is a precedent that spells danger to the lives and security of people
who have experienced and are still experiencing the grim future of prosection
because of their political beliefs,” she said.
The groups called the Dutch government to uphold the rights of Sison as a
political refugee as required by the Refugee Convention and the European
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. They
also urged the Netherlands government to recall the recent restriction imposed
to Sison and “stop all forms of attacks him and to other progressive
Filipinos in Europe.”
Additionally, they pushed for the Dutch officials to instead initiate a
process within the United Nations of a transparent and accountable way for
determining whether an individual or a group is a terrorist one.
“The harassments and unjustified persecution must stop. Defend the rights
of Professor Sison as a political refugee,” the groups concluded.
reference: Connie Bragas-Regalado, Tel. No.: (852) 93572125
Helen Te Hira Tel. No.: (852)95126046
20, 2002 Bulatlat.com
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