ILPS Chairperson Prof. Jose Maria Sison introduces the International League of Peoples' Struggle
Intensified and unrelenting terror attacks continue to be unleashed by imperialist and their client states around the globe. They result into massive human rights violations especially unbridled transgressions on the civil and political rights primarily of the poor and marginalized peoples. With impunity, extrajudicial killings, summary executions, enforced disappearances, illegal arrests and arbitrary detention, torture, rape and sexual molestation, intimidation and harassment and other forms of human rights violations are being perpetrated by agents of the military and police. Lives are lost, rights are violated and freedoms are denied daily.
These forms of violations are most often directed at national liberation movements and human rights defenders – the activists of organized and legal democratic mass movements of workers, peasants, youth, women, indigenous peoples and other grassroots sectors, the civil libertarians, peace advocates – primarily to quell and silence dissent and suppress resistance to neoliberal economic policies that aggravate widespread poverty.
The global economic and finance crisis has worsened since 2008 and is projected to further intensify, as long as political and business leaders in big imperialist countries stick to neoliberalism and dictate upon their client states. This then redounds to massive violations on the economic rights of the people in both developed and underdeveloped countries. In certain parts of the world, the broad masses of the people are rising up against the imperialist-directed neoliberal economic policy and its extremely exploitative and oppressive features and consequences.
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.
Peoples’ rights and freedoms, won through long years of peoples’ struggles for liberation and democracy and nurtured by our martyrs’ and heroes’ blood, are trampled on with impunity.
Political 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. Women, most particularly, are raped and sexually molested.
U.S. prisons in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and other detention centers are reported sites of vicious brutality and unspeakable forms of violence. Examples are: death from having been heavily beaten up; detainees sodomized with objects; forced suicide; various types of physical torture (jumping on detainee's leg with gunshot wound, repeatedly hitting detainee's wounded leg with a collapsible metal baton, pouring phosphoric acid, tying ropes to the detainee’s leg or penis and dragging him across the floor); sexual and cultural humiliation (i.e. urinating on detainees); solitary confinement; sensory and sleep deprivation; prolonged hooding and constraint in uncomfortable position; forced injections; and various other physical and psychological maltreatment.
These forms of rights violations and the worst and most inhumane conditions in jails are being imposed to break the will and resolve of political prisoners.
Recent counter-insurgency 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.
Despite the global economic crisis that drive people into depths of poverty, the imperialists’ war of terror and state terrorism, we are encouraged by the continued burgeoning of people’s resistance led by the peoples’ democratic struggles and national liberation movements throughout the world.
Political prisoners (PPs) are not cowed into silence and hopeless passivity. They are part of the Free All Political Prisoners campaign. They struggle for prison reforms. They wield hunger strikes as final push for their demands. They are joined by former PPs/POWs, victims of other human rights violations and their families and relatives in the fight to end impunity and defend human rights. They have with them in their struggles the whole people’s movements, especially those in human rights organizations.
The struggle for justice for victims of human rights violations must always be pursued. Whenever possible, the components of justice -- i.e. identification, investigation on, prosecution and punishment of the perpetrator/s, admission of guilt of the violator, apology to the victims, restitution and indemnification and other forms of reparation to the victims, and institutionalization of genuine reforms in the justice system to prevent the recurrence of violations – must be pursued in our struggle.
The oppressed and exploited peoples must therefore wage a relentless struggle to defend, protect and promote the human rights of the toiling masses and the oppressed. The struggle for human rights is an integral part of the people’s struggle against imperialism and all the ruling classes that perpetuate the system of oppression and exploitation.
The League at its fourth international assembly resolves to:
Fight to end all forms of human rights violations and all cases and forms of injustice by supporting the promotion and protection of human rights.
Demand the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners. Mobilize on the International Day calling for the release of all political prisoners on December 3. Conduct conferences, symposia and mass protests through ILPS chapters and all member organizations.
Fight to end solitary confinement and torture.. Conduct mobilizations on the International Day to End Torture on June 26.
Fight to stop enforced or involuntary disappearances. Mobilize on the International Day of the Disappeared on August 30.
Conduct initiatives to investigate human rights violations and call for the prosecution and punishment of all perpetrators of human rights violations.
Demand justice and indemnification for the victims of human rights violations and punishment to the perpetrators.
Fight to end the banning of political organizations and other democratic organizations of various types and to put an end to their terrorist listing.
Oppose the criminalization of political offenses and launch campaigns towards this.
Oppose counter-insurgency measures being used by imperialists and their neo-colonies in suppressing and violating the people’s rights.
Repeal all laws that suppress and impinge on the political rights of the people
Support the struggle of prisoners for improvement of prison conditions and the rights of their visitors;
Feature in the ILPS website the specific political prisoners and victims of human rights violations that will be campaigned for by ILPS.
Strengthen solidarity and networking among organizations and conduct coordinated efforts and struggles to demand the freedom of all political prisoners.
Support the call for the release of all political prisoners in the Philippines through general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty for political prisoners
Support the call for justice for Sherlyn, Cadapan, Karen Empeno, Jonas Burgos and all victims of enforced disappearances in the Philippines
Support the call for the release of activist students in Morocco
Resolution calling for the support of the ILPS in the campaign for the release of Mumia Abu Jamal and all political prisoners in the US
Resolution calling for the support of the ILPS for the release of the Cuban 5
Resolution calling for the release of Bradley Manning
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