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Mary Jane Lives! Migrant Worker Action Helps Save the Life of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso!

Mary Jane Lives! Migrant Worker Action Helps Save the Life of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso!

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by IDWFED published Apr 08, 2015 12:00 AM
Hours before she was scheduled to be executed by firing squad in Indonesia late on April 28, Mary Jane Veloso's life was saved last minute after a woman who allegedly trafficked her to Indonesia turned herself in to the police in the Philippines. Though Mary Jane is temporarily saved from the death penalty, she still must prove her innocence and there is much more work to be done to save her life and other migrant workers on death row.

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PHILIPPINES/INDONESIA -

MARY JANE LIVES!

CONTINUE TO PUSH TO SAVE THE LIFE OF FILIPINA MARY JANE VELOSO!


Photo: Save the Life of Mary Jane Veloso/FACEBOOK

Mary Jane Veloso is a 30-year-old Filipina mother-of-two sentenced to death by the Indonesian Supreme Court in April 2010 for drug trafficking. Veloso was a domestic worker in Dubai from 2009 to 2010. She left Dubai and came back to the Philippines after her employer attempted to rape her. On April 22, 2010, she says that she was illegally recruited by her kinakapatid (daughter of her godfather) to work as a domestic worker in Malaysia. When she arrived in Kuala Lumpur, the same person told her that the job was not available anymore and that she would instead be transferred to Indonesia. It was there that she found out that she was tricked into carrying luggage containing 2.6 kilos of heroin, and has adamantly maintained her innocence. 

Veloso’s case was submitted for judicial review but her appeal was rejected by the Indonesian Supreme Court last March 26, 2014, and many expected her to be executed late on Tuesday April 28 2015.

Veloso's life was spared shortly before her execution, hours after one of her alleged traffickers turned herself into the Philippines police. Indonesia has stated that they will wait to execute her because she may be a key witness in a trial against one of her alleged traffickers. Now, we must hope that her alleged traffickers are brought to justice, so that Veloso can prove her innocence and be saved from death row. 

Veloso was a domestic worker in Dubai from 2009 to 2010. She left Dubai and came back to the Philippines after her employer attempted to rape her. On April 22, 2010, she was illegally recruited by her kinakapatid (daughter of her godfather) to work as a domestic worker in Malaysia. When she arrived in Kuala Lumpur, the same person told her that the job was not available anymore and that she would instead be transferred to Indonesia. It was there that she found out that she was tricked into carrying luggage containing 2.6 kilos of heroin.

The Indonesian government executed seven convicted foreign drug traffickers, and one Indonesia by firing squad in the early hours of Wednesday April 29. Their cases have drawn international criticism of Indonesian President Joko Widodo after he rejected pleas by the United Nations and various governments for their clemency. He has stated that he will not consider any clemency pleas for inmates convicted of drug trafficking - even in circumstances like Mary Jane's

UN Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns on extrajudicial executions had also appealed to Wododo to stop the executions on the basis that the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported information that suggests that Veloso and other fellow accused were convicted after unfair trials. The same report attested that all of them did not receive sufficient legal services or the right to translators, and had no legal representation at all stages of their trials.

Upon her arrest at the Jogjakarta airport, Veloso was not provided proper legal assistance. She was only provided a student translator during the course of her trial. She did not understand any of the proceedings.

Veloso’s case is yet another case of the Philippine government doing a little, too late. She was arrested in 2010 and was not assigned a lawyer until the last minute. Had it not been for the international criticism that accompanied her fellow foreign inmates’ cases, it can be argued that the Philippine government would have once again opted to keep her case hushed to evade public criticism. Such had been the Philippine government’s tact, it had so far failed to show transparency or accountability for failing to save the lives of Filipinos on death row.

So far, seven Filipinos have been executed under the present leadership of Benigno Aquino III, the most number of executions of Filipinos on death row under one regime since the Philippine labor export policy was implemented in the 1970s.

Veloso was a victim of large-scale international drug syndicates, of circumstance and of government neglect. The series of unjust executions of Filipinos and other migrants on death row should be put to a stop. There is much work to be done - continue to push for justice for Mary Jane and for all migrant workers who are on death row. 

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS:

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling on:

  • The Philippine government prosecute Mary Jane Veloso’s illegal recruiter, “Cristina”, who returned herself in on April 28. 
  • The United Nations to investigate why there have been the most number of executions that pushed through under the Aquino regime.
  • Migrants’ and human rights-based organizations to appeal for clemency for Mary Jane Veloso.

You may send your communications to:


H.E. Joko Widodo

President, Republic of Indonesia

Istana Merdeka
Jakarta Pusat 10110, Indonesia
Fax: +62 21 386 4816 /+62 21 344 2233
Email:
Twitter: @jokowi_do2

H.E. Benigno Aquino III
President, Republic of the Philippines
Office: JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
E-mail: /
Twitter: @noynoyaquino

Christof Heyns
UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions
Email:

Please send a copy of your email/mail/fax to the above-named government officials, to our address below:

Save the Life of Mary Jane Veloso
45 Cambridge St., Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines Telefax: (+632) 9114910
Email:
Facebook: fb.com/SaveMJVeloso, fb.com/migranteinternational
Twitter: @migrante_intl

Source: Migrante International

Story Type: News

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