the International Day of Action for the Release of Political Prisoners on
December 3, the Commission 3[i]
the International Day of Action for the Release of Political Prisoners on
December 3, the Commission 3[i]
(on human rights and political prisoners cause) of the International League of
People’s Struggle (ILPS), the organizations and individuals below salute the
fortitude and determination of the political prisoners the world over who continue
to take up the cudgels in the people’s struggle for rights and fundamental
freedoms, in response to the onslaught of imperialist might and state violence.
condemn the ruling States’ gross and heinous violations of human rights and
fundamental freedoms, most often directed at national liberation movements and
human rights defenders primarily to quell and silence dissent and suppress
resistance to neoliberal economic policies that aggravate widespread poverty. To
suppress the people’s resistance, terroristic interventions through military
offensives, psywar operations and propping up of puppet governments, whether
“popular” or militaristic, are being utilized as standard features of
counter-insurgency and “anti-terror” programs shared by the imperialists and
their client regimes.
and supposed anti-terror operational plans (oplan) equally target participants
and supporters of democratic movements. States file trumped up charges against
movement leaders and leaders of national liberation movements. Political
offenses continue to be criminalized. They are all aimed at legitimizing
witch-hunting, red-baiting, arbitrary arrests and detention, harassment and
intimidation. They serve to silence the articulators by putting them behind
bars. Anti-terrorism and national security laws are vehement against whoever
are tagged as “enemies of the state” thereby practically ordering military and
police forces to restrict people’s liberties and, worse, get rid of the
“problem” through extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearance, arbitrary
arrest and illegal detention.
prisoners in custody of the military, police, paramilitary or vigilante forces
suffer torture of the most sadistic kind. Death, mangled bodies, nervous
breakdown and deep psychological scars are direct results of the various types
of torture inflicted on the detainees.
prisoners in the belly of the beast
the labyrinth of the US government’s military industrial complex is its prison
system, a system being used to institutionalize injustice and brutalise its
perceived enemies in its own backyard and wherever it pursues its war of
chilling accounts of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center located
in the US Naval Base come with rage and loathe. Although, through
international pressure on the Obama government, there are still 148 remaining
prisoners out of the 779 held there since it opened in 2002, there is no
denying the inhuman experience they have had – the physical and mental torture
that broke down the state of mind of many, the condition that was worse than
that of a caged animal. Most inmates were captured by US forces in
Afghanistan and detained without the benefit of trial. They are
terrorists in the eyes of the real terrorist – US imperialism and its allies.
Yet the 148 remaining inmates from 21 countries are still in limbo.
is also the case of Mumia Abu Jamal, an internationally known black writer and
radio journalist and a former member of the Black Panther Party who has spent
the more than 30 years in prison, almost all of it in solitary confinement in Pennsylvania.
He was wrongly accused, arrested and detained for murder of a police officer in
Philadelphia, and has since been on death row despite a federal court’s
overturning of his death sentence. Despite
his incarceration, he has been very vocal against the US military industrial
complex, overt and covert US military operations abroad, and its neo-colonial
economic policies in underdeveloped countries.
The Cuban Five
September 12, 1998, Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino,
Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez, collectively known since then as the Cuban
Five, were arrested in Miami. They were then convicted of “conspiracy to
commit espionage, conspiracy to commit murder, acting as an agent of a foreign
government and other illegal activities in the United States.”
Cuban government claimed the five were not spying on the US government.
In December 2001, the five were sentenced to varying prison terms. The
international community criticized the treatment of the prisoners and the alleged
lack of fairness in the trial.
Gonzalez was put on parole for three years from 2011 and allowed to return to
Cuba on April 22, 2013. Fernando Gonzalez was released on February 27,
2014 and returned to Cuba.
Cuban Five are regarded as heroes by the Cuban people.
State of Philippine
the Philippines, 487 political prisoners as of October 2014 are languishing in
jails all over the country, exposed to inhuman and degrading conditions. The
sick and the ailing reached the hospital only when their conditions have
worsened. Even pregnant women are not given proper medical attention. This
resulted to the death of the child of Andrea Rosal, a peasant organizer who is
being persecuted because she happens to be the daughter of the late
spokesperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
of the political prisoners have long been in jail and more are being added to
the list, due to the continuing counter-insurgency policy of the US-Aquino
regime patterned after the US Counter Insurgency Guide of 2009, which prods the
practice of the filing of trumped up charges against activists, peace
consultants and alleged members of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to the
peace talks between the NDFP and the Government of the Philippines (GPH) were
illegally arrested and are under detention, in violation of previous peace
agreements signed between the two parties, such as the Hague Declaration and
the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantee (JASIG). Among the peace
consultants detained are Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria Tiamzon, who together
with their five companions, were illegally arrested in March this year, in
gross violation of the said agreements, while they on their way to monitor the
relief, rehabilitation and rebuilding efforts of the revolutionary movement on
typhoon Haiyan affected areas. Benito and Wilma Tiamzon are charged with
numerous trumped up criminal cases.
India, which claims to be “the largest democracy in the world,” tens of
thousands of political activists are in jails subjected to cruel and inhuman
prison conditions and treatment.
abduction on May 9, 2014 of Delhi University Professor GN Saibaba, a long
standing peoples’ rights activist and the joint secretary of the Revolutionary
Democratic Front (RDF), by State security forces stems from his leading a
protest against a US-directed military campaign, the “Operation Green Hunt”, a
genocidal war against the tribal people of India to give way to imperialist
transnational mining corporations. Also languishing in the Indian jail is
the ailing Kobad Ghandy, an staunch anti-imperialist and well-known for
advancing the national and democratic interest of the Indian people.
Political prisoners in
Peru and Colombia
Peru, Manuel Ruben Abimael Guzman Reynoso, a former professor of philosophy and
leader of the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), which launched an armed struggle
in May 1980, was captured by the Peruvian government in 1992 and sentenced to
life imprisonment on charges of terrorism and treason.
79, is currently detained at the maximum security prison of the naval base of
Callao, the port of Lima together with Victor Polay, leader of the Tupac Amaru
Iparraguirre, also a top leader of the Sendero Luminoso and partner of Guzman,
is imprisoned at the Virgen de Fatima prison in Lima, where she is incarcerated
together with common criminals.
four human rights lawyers, together with 34 political activists, were arrested
in Peru on trumped-up charges. The lawyers, Alfredo Crespo, Carlos Gamero and
Manuel Fajardo, are counsels of political activists and prisoners, including
Guzman and Iparraguirre.
meanwhile, is regarded as the country with the worst human rights record in the
Western Hemisphere with 9,500 political prisoners languishing in its jails
without charge or due process. These include student activists,
unionists, human rights defenders, and leaders of indigenous peoples and
people’s organizations who are critical of government policies.
Ocalan, one of the founding members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in
Turkey, was arrested in 1999 by the CIA and Turkish security forces in Nairobi
and taken to Turkey. With his death penalty sentence commuted to life
imprisonment, he has since been held in solitary confinement as the only
prisoner on Imrah Island in the Sea of Marmara. The PKK is listed as a
terrorist organization by some states and organizations, including NATO, the
United States and the European Union, after it launched a war against Turkey to
set up an independent Kurdish state and end the oppression of ethnic
in the International League of People’s Struggles – Commission 3, staunchly
uphold the cause of the political prisoners and the struggles they have launched
and are participating in. We strongly believe that are being pilloried for
their anti-imperialist, progressive and revolutionary beliefs and convictions,
which prison walls can never confine. They continue to struggle alongside the
oppressed peoples of the world against imperialism and all forms of
call for the immediate release of all political prisoners the world over. We exhort all struggling and oppressed
peoples of the world to oppose and fight all forms of counter insurgency
programs of governments to quash dissents and struggles for fundamental rights and
social justice. We enjoin all peoples
aspiring for a better world, a human society free from exploitation and
oppression, to forge stronger solidarity and overturn the surging and
intensifying ferocity of imperialism gone mad in desperation as it clings to
its rickety death-bed.
ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
ALL IMPERIALIST-CONCOCTED COUNTER-INSURGENCY OPERATIONAL PLANS!
LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!
League of People’s Struggles – Commission 3
The Reverend Canon Barry Naylor,
President, Campaign for Human Rights in the
Peter Murphy, Secretary, Philippines Australia Union Link
Peace Memorial Church, Australia
Australia Solidarity Association (PASA)
[i] Commission 3 of the International
League for People’s Struggles: On human
rights in the civil, political, economic, social and cultural fields against
state violence, national oppression, class exploitation and oppression, gender
oppression, fascism, casteism, racism and religious bigotry; and justice
and indemnification for the victims of illegal arrest and detention (especially
political prisoners), violations of due process, torture, extra-judicial
executions, disappearances, mass displacement, and other blatant forms of human