Press release from the international DEFEND committee
The European Court of First Instance (ECFI) annulled yesterday all decisions and a regulation of the Council of the European Union (EU) that had maintained Prof Jose Maria Sison in its so-called terrorist blacklist.
The removal of the name of Prof Sison from the blacklist is the essence or main point of the ECFI judgment on Case T-341/07 of Prof Sison against the Council of EU. It directly unfreezes Sison’s funds in his small bank account and allows him to engage in financial dealings like any ordinary person.
To annul the acts of the Council in blacklisting Prof Sison and freezing his account, the ECFI ruled that the national decisions done in The Netherlands and relied upon by the Council did not relate to the instigation of investigations or prosecution or to a conviction for terrorist activity, contrary to the requirements of European Community Law.
Aside from unfreezing the funds of Prof Sison, the ECFI judgment opens the way for him to assert and enjoy all his rights that have been restricted or suppressed due to the false charge of terrorism. He can benefit from the judgment in the following ways:
1. To claim back the social payments for living allowance, housing, health insurance and old age pension which have been withdrawn from him since 2002;
2. To seek gainful employment or render professional services with remuneration;
3. To secure legal admission as a refugee and a residence permit;
4. To travel freely without restrictions;
5. To be free from being labelled and stigmatized as a terrorist; and
6. To claim moral and material damages for what he has suffered since 2002.
The International DEFEND Committee is calling on all its adherents, supporters and friends to celebrate the legal victory of Prof Jose Maria Sison in the European Court and at the same time to become more determined than ever before in demanding that the Dutch government and Council of the EU change their hostile policy towards him.
The Dutch government and the Council of the EU must cease and desist from being the vehicles of false charges and tools of persecution of the US and Philippine governments against Prof. Jose Maria Sison. He must be allowed and encouraged to act freely and fruitfully as the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.
For reference please contact:
Ruth de Leon
International Coordinator-Committee DEFEND