ILPS Chairperson Jose Maria Sison wins struggle to have name removed from blacklist

Montréal, December 11, 2009

Dear members of International Committee DEFEND,

Congratulations from the member groups of ILPS-Canada to Jose Maria Sison, his lawyers, the International Committee DEFEND and other loyal supporters on the now confirmed victory at the European Court of First Instance.

The decision to remove Prof. Sison’s name from the terrorist blacklist of the European Union and to unfreeze his bank account is now final and executory, since no appeal was launched before the deadline of December 10, 2009.

A struggle well fought… a victory well deserved!

Of course we understand that pressure has to be maintained. Now Prof. Sison and his supporters can concentrate on seeking compensation to him for the deprivation, violations of rights and moral and material damages that he has suffered for more than seven years.

In solidarity,

Malcolm Guy for ILPS-Canada

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International Committee DEFEND
International Committee to DEFEND Filipino Progressives in Europe

Press Release
11 December 2009

EUROPEAN COURT JUDGMENT REMOVING PROF. JOSE MARIA SISON
FROM THE EU TERRORIST BLACKLIST IS NOW FINAL AND EXECUTORY

The judgment of the European Court of First Instance (now called the General Court under the Lisbon Treaty) removing Prof. Jose Maria Sison last 30 September 2009 from the terrorist blacklist of the European Union and unfreezing his bank account is now final and executory.

Through its Legal Office, the Council of the European Union has confirmed today to Jan Fermon, the lead lawyer of Prof. Sison, that it has not lodged an appeal of the aforesaid judgment to the European Court of Justice within the prescribed period of appeal of two months and ten days from the date of judgment. The expiry date for the appeal was yesterday, 10 December 2009.

Prof. Sison has sealed his victory after more than seven years of legal struggle against the EU terrorist blacklist since he was placed there on 22 October 2002 and was subjected to deprivation of the essential needs of human life and the violation of his fundamental human rights.

Prof. Sison won his case against the Council of EU before the European Court in 2007 on procedural issues. The court ruled that the Council has violated his rights to be properly informed of the charge, to be defended by counsel and to seek judicial protection.

Last 30 September 2009, Prof. Sison won his case on substantive issues. The court ruled that he was never investigated, prosecuted nor convicted for any specific act of terrorism and that passing and incidental statements in Dutch court judgments actually favorable to him on his asylum case from 1992 to 1997 and on the unproven murder charge against in 2007 did not make him a terrorist.

The 30 September judgment of the European court in favor of Prof. Sison is a brilliant landmark decision. It is a standard for preventing the arbitrariness of European governments in blacklisting individuals, organizations and other entities as terrorists and for upholding and respecting their human rights. It is a blow on trends of fascism in Europe which have been growing in the name of anti-terrorism.

With the 30 September judgment having become final and executory, the case of Prof. Sison against the Council of EU can move forward to the stage of determining what compensation shall be made to his lawyers and to him for the deprivations, violations of rights and moral and material damages that he has suffered for more than seven years.

Prof. Sison’s battery of lawyers includes Jan Fermon from Belgium, Eberhard Hans Schultz and Wolfgang Kaleck of Germany, Antoine Comte of France and Dundar Gurses of The Netherlands. Judge Romeo T. Capulong and Rachel F. Pastores of the Public Interest Law Center and Bernard Tomlow, Dutch lawyer of the NDF International Office, have also provided legal cooperation.###

For reference please contact:

Ruth de Leon
International Coordinator-Committee DEFEND
Email: defenddemrights@yahoo.com
Telephone: 00-31-30-8895306

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