March 23, 2010
Secretary Hillary R. Clinton
U.S. State Department
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Clinton,
On behalf of the 150,000 RN members of the National Nurses United, we write to express our deep concern of the arrest of 43 healthcare workers in the Philippines.
The 43 healthcare workers were attending a health seminar sponsored by the Council for Health and Development (CHD) when arrested. According to reliable sources including the Asia Human Rights Commission, there are reports of psychological and physical torture and the detainees were interrogated without the presence of their legal counsel. Their continued detention is a tavesty of justice in a country were more than 3,000 nurses and doctors leave the country yearly to seek better lives abroad and where 5 out of 10 Filipinos go from cradle to death without ever seeing a doctor or a nurse. The Philippines is the number one exporter of nurses in the world and second in exporting doctors.
I commend the dedication of the 43 healthcare workers who opted to serve the health needs of its people instead of going abroad to seek for a better life. One of the detainees is an operating room nurse who is also the Auditor of the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW), a recognized union of healthcare workers in the Philippines.
The National Nurses United represents thousands of Filipino-American nurses, and we stand in solidarity with the international community in condemning this act of arbitrariness and calousness on the part of the Philippine Military and the government. We join the international community to demand the immediate and unconditional release of the 43 healthcare workers in the Philippines.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
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