Tuesday, 8 October 2013

ÁGNES GERÉB 3RD ANNIVERSARY IN CONFINEMENT: Statement from Campaign for Justice for Dr. Ágnes Geréb.


Three years is a long time. Three years in confinement is a very long time. Three years in confinement when you have done nothing wrong is a very, very long time. Through prison and house arrest, she has retained her strength, her dignity, her reputation and she has remained true to herself and her beliefs. And so many in Hungary and around the world have remained true to her. Women everywhere see her as someone who has responded to the wishes of birthing mothers. In doing so she has had to face mistreatment and injustice. But the birthing mothers in Hungary who want midwifery-led-care, whether in hospital or at home, are still there and their wishes will not go away. 

On this third anniversary of her arrest on 5 October 2010, we recognise some signs of improvement. She is now allowed out of her home for one hour each day. Recently, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention spent 3 hours at her home, listening to her story. In their preliminary report, issued on 2nd October, they condemn the 'excessive use of preliminary detention' in Hungary, and point to the excessive zeal of prosecutors, and the weakness of judges in standing up to them - all features, we believe, of the gross abuse to which she has been subjected. And they recognise that house arrest, too, is a deprivation of liberty. The Government appears to be grudgingly aware of the capacity of the judicial system to inflict injustice. They have faced a constant stream of support for Ágnes, for birthing mothers and for midwives from the day she was imprisoned. And they know this support is not going away. We have secured great attention and backing from so many influential and esteemed persons and organisations worldwide who fully believe in the right of birthing mothers to choose the type of birth experience that suits them best and who see that Ágnes has been shamefully mistreated in her own efforts to respond to those wishes.

In the months ahead Ágnes will continue to defend her actions and her reputation in the courts. Birth right supporters here remain determined and, amongst many other actions, will soon bring cases to the EU and to the UN on these matters. We believe in the end, regardless of the time it takes, that birthing rights will be secured for future Hungarian mothers and that personal and professional rights will be secured for all the midwives like Ágnes who serve the needs of birth mothers.

Donal Kerry
International Spokesperson
Campaign for Justice for Dr. Ágnes Geréb.
mobile:  0036309242190

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