Nov9:International conference of former political prisoners in Copenhagen adopts resolution calling for freedom for the Morong 43

PRESS RELEASE
9 November 2010

A resolution calling for the immediate release from detention of the Morong 43 was unanimously approved by the delegates to the International Conference on Solidarity, Defense and Struggle for Freedom of Political Prisoners in the World, held October 22-24, 2010 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The resolution condemned the illegal arrest, physical and mental torture and continuing unjust detention of the Morong 43, and called for their immediate release, especially the two nursing mothers and their babies delivered under detention. The resolution also called on the Aquino government to stop the alarming extra-judicial killings which include human rights advocates and defenders.

The resolution presented by Atty Remigio “Ming” Saladero Jr. of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement, KMU), was discussed and prepared by the Workshop on the Philippines.

Attorney Saladero Jr and Cesar T. Taguba of BAYAN International-Europe also spoke during the plenary session and shared information regarding the suffering and struggle of political prisoners, on extrajudicial killings and disappearances from the time of the Marcos regime up to the current Benigno Aquino III government.

The conference approved the following proposals of the Philippine delegation: a). Adopt a political prisoner campaign b). Collection and popularization of the poems and songs written and composed by political prisoners and, c). Holding of an internationally coordinated Political Prisoners Day/Week.

The international conference was attended by delegates from Colombia, Palestine, Iran, Kurdistan, Denmark, Basque, Spain, Colombia, Philippine, Turkey and the US. They shared information about the death by torture, execution and massacre of political prisoners and the struggle against the so-called terrorist blacklisting.

The case of Mumia Abu-Jamal was highlighted. The conference delegates condemned the US-instigated “war on terror” and the global crisis as a result of capitalist greed. The conference was initiated by the Danish International Forum (IF).

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MORONG 43 RESOLUTION

We, participants of the International Conference on Solidarity, Defense and Struggle for Freedom of Political Prisoners in the World, 22-24 Copenhagen, Denmark unanimously condemn the illegal arrest, torture and continuing unjust detention of 43 health workers-known as the Morong 43, by the Philippine government. We call for their immediate and unconditional release from detention, especially the 2 nursing mothers and their children.

At the time of their arrest, the Morong 43 were undergoing a Health Training Seminar organized by the Community Medicine Foundation and the Council for Health and Development. The training seminar was maliciously branded by the military as a “terrorist” training program using planted weapons and explosives-making devices as evidence. Among those arrested were 2 medical doctors, nurses and midwives, of which twenty-six are women.

The arresting force composed of 300 heavily armed men did not have a valid warrant of arrest. They deprived those arrested immediate legal assistance, kept them in isolation, prevented family visits and were subjected to physical and mental torture.

The arrest and detention of the Morong 43 violates the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

We join Philippine and international organizations in calling for their immediate release, especially of the 2 nursing mothers.

We strongly urge the Philippine government to stop the extra judicial killings which includes human rights advocates and defenders.

Unanimously approved at the Plenary Session
International Conference on Solidarity, Defense and Struggle for Freedom of Political Prisoners in the World
23 October 2010 Copenhagen, Denmark

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