Groups condemn deportation of activist from Netherlands

This article is available in Pilipino

Filipino activist Marikit Saturay was arbitrarily detained and forcibly deported to The Netherlands when she visited the Philippines on March 7. The Bureau of Immigration (BI) detained her for three nights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) before forcibly deporting her to The Netherlands. Saturay was not allowed to enter the country because she was on the NBI’s “blacklist order” due to her participation in “anti-government activities.” Saturay is a member of Migrante-Netherlands and organizer of migrant youth in Europe. She is also a well-known composer and singer in the local hip-hop community in The Netherlands.

Upon landing at NAIA, the immigration officer asked her if she had any ties to “activists and communists.” She was accused of being involved in “anti-government activities.” When Saturay replied that she was a member of Migrante-Netherlands, she was not allowed to pass the immigration checkpoint.

She was considered a criminal and was watched by immigration officials throughout the night. Her lawyers and even relatives were not allowed to talk to her. Saturay went to the Philippines to visit her relatives and friends, especially his grandmother who celebrated her 100th birthday on March 10.

Saturay settled in the Netherlands, along with her siblings and mother in 2006. They followed their father to that country after requesting political asylum there in 2003 due to relentless pressure from the then Arroyo regime. Saturay’s father was an environmental activist and human rights defender in Mindoro, then under the fascist Col. Jovito “The Butcher” Palparan.

Various migrant groups and human rights defenders have condemned this action by the Marcos regime. According to Migrante-Netherlands, this intimidation is in line with the Philippine immigration agency’s policy of blacklisting and deporting progressives and activists. The group says this is extremely “dangerous, baseless and repressive.”

It can be recalled that a similar incident happened to Edna Becher, a Filipina-Swiss activist and chairperson of Anakbayan-Switzerland, who was harassed and deported when visiting the Philippines on December 7, 2023. She was detained for more than two hours before being sent back to Switzerland on claims that she was “blacklisted” in the country because of her alleged “anti-government activities.”

AB: Groups condemn deportation of activist from Netherlands