Agnes Gereb: the latest news

Here is the latest press release concerning Agnes Gereb, obstetrician and midwife imprisoned for attending women choosing to birth at home.

As you know the story of Dr. Geréb, is one that has been played out in the Hungarian criminal courts for the last two years. On December 6th a further phase commences, when she will face a new set of 5 charges before one of the criminal courts here in Budapest.

As u are probably aware Ágnes has been detained without trial  since a birth incident of Oct 5th, 2010 (prison, 77days; house arrest, 710 days and counting!). In February this year she was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment connected to birth incidents occurring in 2006 and 2007. However, the enforcement of this sentence is still pending as the President of Hungary ruled on October, 10th (see his translated statement at http://www.szuleteshaz.hu/en/press-releases-of-the-clemency/) that Ágnes’s request for clemency in this matter will not be decided upon by him until the December, 6th trial charges have reached a conclusion in the courts. This upcoming trial will deal with the birth incident of Oct, 5th, 2010, two further birth incidents and also two “administrative” matters.

The Campaign for Justice for Dr. Geréb would very much welcome your involvement and coverage of this new trial as it continues to raise issues around the situation of Ágnes which we consider important for her but also for the rights she is fighting for:

  • her own human rights,
  • the rights of Hungarian birthing mothers, and
  • the rights of midwives in Hungary to be dealt in an equitable way with Hungarian hospital doctors with regard to their treatment when involved in adverse birth incidents.

On December 6th it’s her own rights which will first and foremost come under further intense pressure as she continues to deal with:

  • concerns that conditions are not in place to offer her a real chance of a fair trial.
  • the fact that she should not be before the criminal courts, and like in other EU countries should have her actions assessed by a Midwifery Investigation Committee.
  • that despite or because of being Hungary’s foremost defender of women’s rights she has received uniquely aggressive treatment from the State Prosecution Service as exampled by the further fact that she has the full public support of the 3 mothers in the birth cases coming before the court and the 200 parents cited by the prosecutor in the 4th case. 

President Áder in his statement of October 10th acknowledged Ágnes’s role in helping birthing mothers and home birth itself. This was an important positive comment for Ágnes coming from the highest office holder in the land but it needs to be built upon by receiving the backing of the Hungarian government as well.  The President also highlighted the important place of justice and lawfulness in Hungary and to echo this vital point Dr. Geréb supporters both at home and abroad will be calling on the Hungarian government, through the Minister for Justice to review her case and also to closely monitoring her upcoming trial.
I appreciate that there are many other stories around also seeking you and your papers attention but we know from our feedback that Ági’s story has captured the attention of women everywhere and also of the many interested in human rights. If you are in a position to move further on this story please let me know and I can provide u with more information on the 5 cases involved and I know Ágnes would be available to reply to written questions that u might wish to put to her.

Yours sincerely,

Donal Kerry
International Spokesperson
Campaign for Justice for Ágnes Gereb

mobile 0036309242190
email: donalkerry@hotmail.com

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