CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 21 July 2018

Print Version    Email to Friend
Filipino Muslim rights advocate denied entry to United States

CAGAYAN de ORO (UCAN):  Jerome Aladdin Succor Aba, a Filipino Muslim advocate, was denied entry into the United States of America (US) on April 17 and was believed to be in the holding facility at San Francisco International Airport, the Mindanao-based Sandugo-Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination reported.
 
It is believed that Aba, chairperson of the group Suara Bangsamoro, was detained by American immigration officials over “visa problems.”
 
Aba was supposed to speak before religious and US government officials, including members of the Senate and the House of Representatives. He was also scheduled to speak on the human rights situation in the Philippines at the annual National Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice in Washington DC on April 20 to 23.
 
“Is the US government afraid that its role in the atrocities against national minorities and peasants in Mindanao will be exposed?” asked a statement from Sandugo.
 
“We seek help from peace advocates in the US to help us demand the government to release Aba.” 
 
Amirah Lidasan, former president of Suara Bangsamoro, blamed the  “discriminatory and xenophobic Muslim ban policy” of the country’s president, Donald Trump, for Aba’s detention.
 
“This is the first case wherein a Muslim from the southern Philippines was arrested, detained and denied entry into the US since Trump’s presidency,” Lidasan said.
 
Human rights advocates have posted pictures of a group of people protesting at San Francisco International Airport to demand his release.
 
CBS television in San Francisco reported that Aba was being held in a secure area of the airport with access to food, water and a restroom while awaiting a flight back to the Philippines.
 
A statement from US Customs and Border Protection said it does not consider the country of origin or human rights advocacy to be determining factors for admissibility to the country.

More from this section