Saturday, April 3, 2010

US nurses group ask: Free Morong 43

US nurses group ask: Free Morong 43*

MANILA, Philippines—National Nurses United (NNU), a 150,000-strong organization of registered nurses based in the United States, asked the Philippine government to release the 43 health workers who were arrested in Morong, Rizal.

NNU, through its co-presidents Deborah Burger, Karren Higgins, and Jean Ross, also wrote US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, making the same call and stressing that the arrest and continuing detention of the so-called Morong 43 are illegal and constitute human rights violations.

In a news release, the health organization also posed their deep concerns on how dedicated health workers are being treated in a country where a lot of medics are forced to leave because of the lack government support.

NNU commended the efforts of the 43 health workers and particularly mentioned Gary Liberal, a fellow nurse and an operating room nurse from Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital who is also the National Auditor of the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW), a recognized union of healthcare workers in the Philippines.

Earlier, the National Council of Churches also asked Clinton to investigate the case of the 43 health workers.

Dr. Eleanor Jara, one of the spokespersons of the Free the 43 Health Workers Now! Alliance, says their organizations are very pleased with the overwhelming support—from support letters, mobilizations, here and abroad, including fasting and other symbolic actions.

“This outpouring of support is a great source of inspiration to all the detainees, their relatives, and all their colleagues and everyone working for their release.”

Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor, one of the two physicians among the 43, writing from detention also expressed her gratitude on the support coming from around the world.

Among the organizations who have earlier expressed their support include Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR), Red Mundial de Mujeres por los Derechos Reproductivos Réseau Mondial de Femmes por les Droits Reproductifs (Netherlands), Organizing Centre for Social and Economic Justice (Canada), Health Care Without Harm-Southeast Asia, Kasammako (Korea), Peoples Health Movement, and other international human rights and religious organizations.

*Originally posted in Inquirer, Url: