By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
9 November 2009
We, the International Committee DEFEND, wish to express our heartfelt gratitude and high appreciation to five members of the Dutch First Chamber (Senate), who belong to various major parties, for raising last 3 November 2009 questions aimed at upholding the rule of law and the human rights of Professor Jose Maria Sison.
The aforesaid members of the Senate are Ms M. H. A. Strik (Groen Links), Ms M. Westerveld (Partij van de Arbeid ), H. Franken (Christen Democratisch Appel), Ms A. C. Quik-Schuijt (Socialist Party) and J. W. M. Engels (D 66).
They addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Justice, the State Secretary of Justice and the Minister of Social Affairs and Work Opportunity the following questions:
- Is the government aware of the judgment of the Court of first instance of 30 September 2009, whereby the Court declared null Regulation (EC) no. 501/2009 and the related Decisions from 2007, insofar as these concern Mr. Sison? (1)
- Is higher appeal being considered against this judgment? What position shall the Dutch government take during the discussion in the Council on this possibility, also taking into consideration that the Court of first instance considers all earlier invoked grounds to put Mr. Sison on the list do not give any basis for such placement [on the list]. Will the government suggest to the Council new grounds for placement on the list? If so, what new grounds?
- Do you consider the ruling of the REK of 1997 still sufficient substantiation for the decision not to grant Mr. Sison a residence permit, since Article 13 and 18 of the Definition guidelines (2) oblige the granting of permit as soon as the right to protection is established? Do you still see reasons for the application of an exclusion ground from this guideline, now that the judicial power both in the Philippines and in The Netherlands has rejected every criminal prosecution?
- Do you consider that the continuing refusal of a residence permit to the concerned still proportional? Can you in your answer present the criteria which the Administrative Law Division of the Raad van State [Council of State] of 2 June 2004 formulated (3) and the fact that according to the ruling of 1997 there was insufficient ground to invoke Article 1 (F) of the Refugee Convention against the concerned?
- Is it just that the concerned on the ground of Article 3 EVRM cannot be expelled from The Netherlands and yet every assistance for basic needs for survival is denied him? If so, do you consider this to be in accordance with the fundamental rights as guaranteed in the ESH [European Social Charter], the EVRM and the Charter for Fundamental Rights? How do you judge in this light the applicability of Article 9 and 11 IVESCR [International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights], also taking into account the hereto pertinent General Comments from 2008 and Conclusion 11 of the Concluding Observations of 2006 of the UN Committee of this convention (CESCR)? (4)
We hope that the foregoing questions will encourage the Dutch government to respect and give due course to the 30 September 2009 judgment of the European Court of First Instance in favor of Prof. Sison against the Council of the European Union (EU) for unjustly putting him on the terrorist blacklist.
We call on the Dutch government to desist from becoming a party to the filing of a frivolous appeal by the Council of EU or be responsible for any other undertaking to prevent and delay the justice that Prof. Sison deserves. We urge the Dutch government to allow Prof. Sison to enjoy his fundamental rights and live a normal life in The Netherlands.
We hope that the Dutch government will heed the just purpose of the questions from the broad nonpartisan array of senators, including members of parties in the ruling coalition as well as those in the opposition.
The Senate plays a major role in scrutinizing the actions of the Government. Statements made by government ministers in debates carry weight in future lawsuits. The members of the Senate can elicit undertakings from ministers about the implementation of a law.###
(1) Judgment of the Court (Seventh chamber) of 30 September 2009, T-341/07.
(2) Guideline 2004/83/EC
(3) Case no. 200308845/1, JV 2004/279.
(4) General Comment no. 19, 2008, paragraph 31, 34 and 36 up to and including 38, and paragraph 50 and 51; Concluding Observations, 24 November 2006, conclusion 11.
Ruth de Leon
Address: Amsterdamsestraatweg 50, 3513 AG Utrecht, The Netherlands