Red Flag Express №11

Free Ka Joma!

It is with a lot of rage that we heard the news of the arrest and detention of comrade Jose Maria Sison by the Dutch police. Founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines and former political prisoner under Marcos dictatorship, “Ka Joma” has lived in exile in the Netherlands as a political refugee for more than 20 years. He is now acting as the Chief Political Consultant of the National Democratic Front and the Chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS).

Ka Joma was arrested on Tuesday morning after the police asked him to answer some questions about the recent victory he won in front of the European Court of First Instance. Actually, this court ruled that his blacklisting on the European Union “terrorist list” was illegal. Once he went at the police station, the cops put Sison in a separate room from his lawyer and then, they put him under arrest and sent him to the National Penitentiary in The Hague where he is still under detention.

At the same moment (around 9:30 a.m.), a bunch of cops dressed with civilian clothes broke down the front door of Joma’s apartment where his wife Julie was waiting for him to come back. The cops stayed there until late at night and they finally seized his files, computers and CDs. Such raids were also made—most of them without any search warrant—at the NDF office in Utrecht and at the houses of other Filipino political refugees living in the Netherlands. In certain cases, the cops raided private houses at a time when only minor youth were present.

The Dutch government claims that comrade Sison is responsible for the murder of two former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines, which happened four years ago; in fact, the Maoist New People’s Army (NPA) already took the responsibility for those executions. Sison’s arrest and detention must be put in relation with the sustained efforts from both the Netherlands government, the Filipino regime and US imperialism to silence him, and even eliminate him. Today August 31, a Dutch judge ordered his detention for at least two weeks after what, Sison will have to come back before the same Court.

Joma’s arrest provoked a general outcry, not only in the Netherlands but at the world level. In Makati, Philippines, the police viciously attacked a picket line called for by BAYAN—a national patriotic organization. In Amsterdam, more than 100 people demonstrated to demand the immediate release of comrade Sison. In Canada, picket lines were held in front of the Dutch consulates in Vancouver and Montréal. The Centre for Philippine Concerns—a Montréal-based organization who works since more than 25 years to raise support for the Filipino people’s struggle—launched a mass campaign for sending faxes to the embassy of the Netherlands (details are available at The Revolutionary Communist Party adds its voice to the militant organizations of the Filipino community for demanding the immediate and unconditional liberation of comrade Joma!

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