April 18, 2018, 5:10pm

Pam Tau Lee, ICHRP-US Chairperson, 415-602-1401
Terry Valen, ICHRP-US Quick Response to Pressing Issues Workgroup, 415.203.0696 terrencevalen@yahoo.com
Rhonda Ramiro, ICHRP-US Secretariat, 415-377-2599, rramiro@gmail.com

Human Rights Advocate Held Incommunicado at SFO for 22 Hours, Denied Right to an Attorney While Being Interrogated by the Customs and Border Protection Agency

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – After more than 22 hours, Jerome Succor Aba, a peace advocate from Mindanao granted a 10 year multiple entry visa to the US, has been held incommunicado by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agency office at the San Francisco International Airport.

After hours of pressuring the Philippine Consulate to step up and advocate for Jerome, a consular representative was able to connect Aba over the phone briefly with Pastor Sadie Stone of Bethany United Methodist Church in San Francisco. According to Stone, the CBP told Aba that there “was no good reason for him to be on US soil” and that “a lawyer would not do him any good” when Aba asserted his right to speak to an attorney and that there was an attorney trying to get a hold of him all day.

WHAT: Justice for Jerome Airport action and phone/fax barrage

WHERE: SFO International Arrivals area.

PHONE BARRAGE # 415-782-9200 FAX BARRAGE # 415-705-1226

Interviews with church and community sponsors of Jerome’s trip
available upon request

Advocates and community supporters are now indignant over Jerome’s inhumane treatment, and holding the CBP accountable for violating Aba’s rights by subjecting him to hours of interrogation without an attorney. A phone and fax barrage to the CBP demanding the CBP step forward and answer to Jerome’s sponsors and supporters on why he was denied his right is underway.

Aba was invited by several church groups in the US such as the US Conference on Catholic Bishops, the Sisters of Mercy, and the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church to speak on peace at the upcoming 16th National Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) in Washington DC, April 20-13. The EAD is one of the largest gathering of church and faith-based groups across the US to discuss social issues that concludes with a lobby day in Capitol Hill. ###