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Friday, August 09, 2013

Dutch activist Thomas Van Beersum held in Philippines

From: "maoist"/Maoist Revelution;
Democracy and Class Struggle call for the immediate release of Thomas Van 
Beersum by the Philippine Government..

"While notorious human rights violators and corrupt officials can freely go 
in and out of the Philippines, Dutch activist Thomas van Beersum was 
detained by the Bureau of Immigration a few days ago.

Clearly, he is being persecuted by the Aquino government for exercising his 
freedom of expression." - Karapatan


MANILA - A Dutch activist who joined the protest action during the State of 
the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III was prevented from 
leaving the country by immigration officials.

Thomas van Beersum is being held at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport 
(NAIA). He became prominent when photos of him castigating a policeman for 
the violent dispersal during the SONA demonstration came out.

In a phone interview with, Ephraim Cortez of the National Union 
of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) who was able to talk to Van Beersum over the 
phone, said the Dutch activist was being asked to get a clearance from the 
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) before he can leave the country.

Cortez said a certain Soloren who introduced himself as an intelligence 
officer of the Bureau of Immigration told him over the phone that Van 
Beersum needs to secure a clearance from the NBI stating that he is not 
facing any pending charges.

As of press time, Cortez is seeking ways to talk with the Dutch activist in 
person. "He is not aware of any charges filed against him," Cortez told "He did not do anything illegal and merely voiced out his 
opinion regarding the human rights situation in the country. He was only 
exercising his freedom of speech."

Van Beersum was one of the more than 200 delegates of the International 
Conference on Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines held last month in 
Manila. In his open letter to Joselito Sevilla, the policeman whom he was 
seen shouting at during the SONA protest, Van Beersum said: "I attended the 
SONA protest because I had been outraged by the human rights violations 
committed by the corrupt Aquino regime."

He mentioned Dutch missionary Willem Geertman as a person he personally knew 
who was murdered last July 3, 2012. Cortez said the detention of Van Beersum 
is a clear case of harassment. In a statement, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan 
denounced the detention of Van Beersum and demanded for his immediate 

"We demand that his rights be respected, that he not be paraded like a 
criminal," Bayan said.

Cristina Palabay, secretary general of human rights alliance Karapatan, 
said: "While notorious human rights violators and corrupt officials can 
freely go in and out of the Philippines, Dutch activist Thomas van Beersum 
was detained by the Bureau of Immigration today. Clearly, he is being 
persecuted by the Aquino government for exercising his freedom of 
expression, a right guaranteed by the UN International Covenant on Civil and 
Political Rights even of non-citizens, and his support for the campaign 
against extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations."

From: "maoist" <>
Sent: Wednesday, August 07

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