Jan Fermon, General Secretary of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, spoke on 29 December 2012 at the New World Summit in Leiden on “terror” designations and the case of Jose Maria Sison.
Jan Fermon studied at the Vrije Universiteit in Brussels and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Maastricht in comparative law and the protection of the lawyer-client privilege. He published Politieke Verdediging: Een analyse van historische en actuele politieke strafzaken en de strategie van de verdediging (Wolf Legal Publishers, 2011), and is co-founder of the Progress Lawyers Network and deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Fermon is specialized in Belgian, European, and international penal law. As a political lawyer, he has defended labor union representative Roberto d’Orazio, Turkish terrorism suspect Fehrye Erdal, and Dutroux victim Laetitia Delhez. He has defended the interests of 19 Iraqi victims of US war crimes committed during the invasion of Baghdad against US general Tommy Franks. Fermon has provided legal assistance to Jose Maria Sison, co-founder of the Communist Part of the Philippines and main political advisor of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, leading an international of lawyers in a successful plea to remove Sison from the EU list of designated terrorists. In 2011, he was refused entry into the US.