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Remove Prof. Jose Maria Sison from the EU`s list of “terrorists”

5. November 2002

International Appeal by DEFEND

On 28 October 2002, the Council of the European Union added Jose Maria Sison and the New People´s Army (NPA) of the Philippines to its list of …‘terrorist´ persons, groups and entities. This decision was taken by written procedure, without discussion or due process, without motivation whatsoever. Measures to be taken against the organizations and individuals on the list include “the freezing of funds and other financial assets or economic resources, as well as police and judicial cooperation”.
With this decision, the European Union toes the line of the United States. On 9 August 2002, the US State Department listed the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People´s Army as …‘foreign terrorist organizations´, asking other governments to do the same. On 12 August 2002, the US Treasury Department listed Jose Maria Sison as a …‘terrorist´ whose assets must be frozen.
Whenever the criminalization and the repression of national liberation movements and other revolutionary organizations and individuals are concerned, the European Union applies exactly the same unjust and undemocratic standards and methods as the United States. In the final analysis, the EU goes along with US President Bush in his global war against states, regimes, movements and individuals that reject and resist the imperialist world order.
The US is targetting Prof. Jose Maria Sison because he has been a leading figure of the Philippine national democratic revolution for almost forty years. He was one of the pioneers who revived the anti-imperialist movement in the Philippines in the early 60s. He re-established the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). For nine years, he was dictator Marcos´ most important political prisoner.
Today, Prof. Jose Maria Sison is living in the Netherlands as a political refugee under the protection of the Refugee Convention and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. He is the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP, the revolutionary alliance to which the CPP and the NPA belong) in the peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. These negotiations have been facilitated by the Norwegian, Dutch and Belgian governments, and the European Parliament has endorsed them through several resolutions.
The CPP, the NPA and the NDFP have been leading an exemplary people´s struggle for national liberation and democracy, against foreign domination, exploitation and oppression. As Prof. Sison puts it, “the word liberation is what the US hates most, because it means freedom from its imperialist system of exploitation”.
We reject the notion that the struggle for national liberation, including armed struggle, is equated to terrorism. We are concerned that legitimate political organizations and individuals, including legitimate asylum seekers and recognized political refugees, may become the target of unjustified repressive measures in the guise of fighting terrorism.
We demand from the European Union and its member states:
…· the repeal of the Council Common Position 2002/847/CFSP “on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism”, and of the Council Decision 2002/848/EC “on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view of combating terrorism”;
…· the removal of Jose Maria Sison from the list mentioned in the Council Decision 2002/848/EC;
…· the full respect for the protection of Jose Maria Sison as a refugee under the relevant international conventions;
…· the refusal of any possible demand for his extradition.

We demand from the European Union and its member states to refrain from any legislation or action that may hinder the legitimate political activities of organizations and individuals.
We support the procedure to be introduced by Prof. Sison, with the help of an international team of human rights lawyers, before the Court of the European Community in Luxemburg, against his inclusion in the EU´s list of …‘terrorists´.
We vow to extend Prof. Sison financial support for his basic necessities and for his legal defense, even if this runs counter to the decision of the Council of the European Union. For us, the values of justice and solidarity are more important.

Postal Address: Postbus 15687, 1001ND Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Tel: 31-30-2368722
Fax: 31-30-2322989

Please send financial donations to:
Bank Account No. 404573932
Stichting Rechtshulp OKKN
Stadsring 69, 3818 HN Amersfoort
The Netherlands