On August 28, 2007 Professor Jose Maria Sison, a Filipino political refugee living in exile for 20 years in Utrecht, Netherlands, was lured by Dutch police under false pretenses, arrested and unjustly detained. As the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Professor Sison has been an instrumental force in pursuing peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the Philippine underground movement. Sison was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship and has since been exiled and suffers continuous harassment and persecution by the Philippine Government.
At the age of 68, Professor Sison is one of the most influential figures in Philippine politics, highly regarded by millions of Filipino workers, peasants, women, students, national minorities, and other segments of Philippine society seeking national sovereignty and genuine democracy for their homeland.
Internationally, he is a renowned writer and poet and a highly respected anti-imperialist intellectual providing incisive analysis on the crisis of the world capitalist system. He is currently the chairperson of the International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS), an alliance of over 100 peoples organizations from over 20 countries in the world advancing national independence, democracy and social liberation.
At the same time as his arrest, the Dutch police, in Gestapo-like fashion, raided the homes and seized the property of 7 other NDF personnel, This bolsters our belief that Prof. Sison is not the only target of the attacks. The entire NDFP Peace Panel based in the Netherlands are also being subjected to harassment and repression.
According to Netherlands authorities, Sison is being charged with incitement to murder in the Philippines. Dutch prosecutors allege that he ordered the killings of Filipinos Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara. This is only the latest in the long list of politically-motivated false charges being levied against Sison. Recently, the Philippine Supreme Court dismissed the rebellion charges against Sison and 50 other personalities including progressive members of the Philippine Congress and leaders of the mass movement. The court ruled that the pieces of alleged evidence used in the rebellion cases, including the Kintanar and Tabara deaths, can no longer be used in other legal proceedings against Sison and his co-accused.
The attacks on Sison are part of the continuing political repression being implemented by the US-backed Arroyo regime. In the past, this has included extrajudicial kilings, abductions and the filing of false charges against activists and critics of the Arroyo regime.
As Sison is one of the sharpest critics of US imperialism and Philippine President Arroyo's puppetry to the Bush regime, the Bush-Arroyo clique have worked hand and hand to criminalize him, even going as far as placing him on the U.S. list of Foreign Terrorists. Just last month, the Court of First Instance of the European Court of Justice nullified the Council of the European Union�s inclusion of Sison on their "Terrorist List" and they found no basis or due process for the original listing.
The solitary confinement and treatment of Sison, not allowing visitors such as his wife, children, or his doctor to see him, while in detention violates provisions of the United Nations High Comission on the Rights of Refugees. Sison is a recognized political refugee in the Netherlands.
We again call on all truth and freedom seeking people to help defend Professor Sison's rights and demand that the Netherlands authorities release him at once.
CALL, FAX, MAIL, AND/OR VISIT ACCOUNTABLE BODIES IN THE NETHERLANDS, PHILIPPINES, UNITED STATES, & UNITED NATIONS TO DEMAND IMMEDIATE AND UNCONDITIONAL JUSTICE NOW!
(Phone numbers, fax numbers, emails and addresses of officials are listed at freejomapetiton.org/freejomapetition.html along with the text of the petition, which can also be used as a script for call-ups or visits to officials. The text can also be printed as a petition and names gathered in support.)FREE JOMA SISON!
DROP ALL THE FALSE CHARGES!
STOP THE POLITICAL PERSECUTION OF FILIPINO PROGRESSIVES!
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