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Free Jose Maria Sison!

30. August 2007

by Intl Committee DEFEND

The International Committee Defend condemns in the strongest terms the unjust arrest this morning, August 28, of Filipino political exile Prof. Jose Maria Sison, by the Dutch Police, on trumped-up charges, and the simultaneous police raids in Utrecht on several houses of Filipinos, including the NDF International Information Office. The arrest of Professor Sison came after the Philippine Supreme Court dismissed several politically-motivated cases filed against him and several others. The case filed against him by the Dutch police are similarly politically-motivated and must be dismissed immediately.

Also, the European Court of the First Instance in Luxemburg on July 11, annulled the inclusion of Professor Sison in the European Council’s ‘terrorist’ listing because the Council of the European Union failed to give a valid reason for his inclusion.

Professor Sison or Joma, was arrested when he reported to the Utrecht police after he got an invitation from them supposedly about new information on the complaint he filed in 2001.

According to Sison’s lawyer who accompanied him to the police station, Sison was asked to go to a room supposedly to be asked questions. And after he was alone in the room he was whisked away without the knowledge of his lawyer, to the National Penitentiary in Scheveningen in The Hague where he is now under detention.

International Committee Defend strongly denounces the ‘Gestapo-style’ manner in which the Dutch police arrested Professor Sison and conducted the raids. The police used a ruse to take Sison into custody. Also during the raids, the raiding team in some cases, did not show any search warrant and forced their entry into the houses by breaking the doors even if people were inside. In some of the houses that were raided, only minors were present.

Julie Sison, wife of Sison, said at around 9:30 am, the Dutch police in plainclothes did not even ring or knock, but instead broke down their front door. She was reportedly asked to sit in one corner of their house while the police carted away their computers, documents, CDs, and other files. The search lasted until early evening.

Simultaneous with Joma’s arrest and the search on his house, the NDF International Information Office and several other houses of Filipinos in Utrecht, were raided. The Dutch police confiscated computers, laptops, papers, diskettes, CD Roms, and DVDs.

The arrest of Professor Sison and the searches in several Filipino houses are clearly politically-motivated. EU envoy Javier Solana has said that the terrorist tag on the CPP, NPA and Professor Sison would be dropped if they capitulate.

The Philippines, Dutch and US are using judicial proceedings to put political pressure on the NDFP to surrender to the Manila government.

Committee Defend will hold the Dutch government accountable for any harm that may happen to Professor Sison, including rendition to any country outside the Netherlands, while under their custody.

Committee Defend announces that there will be protest mobilizations in the Philippines, Canada, US, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and several countries in Europe.


Utrecht, The Netherlands

For reference:

Atty. Jan Fermon
Lead Counsel in the European Court of First Instance case

Atty. Michel Pestman