We strongly denounce the detention of Dutch activist Thomas van Beersum by the Bureau of Immigration. Thomas was prevented from boarding his flight this morning and is being held by Immigration officials at the NAIA. Thomas was already leaving the Philippines and we see no reason to detain him. This is plain harassment in light of the many threats issued by the BI against Thomas during the past two weeks. It is ridiculous that a person already set to leave the country will be detained only to be eventually deported. However, this is not the first time this has happened as other foreign activists have also been held before by Immigration officials only to be deported and then blacklisted.
Immigration officials have also told media that van Beersum is “overstaying” in the Philippines. If true, then he should just have been made to pay the corresponding fine…
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