Statement in support of Agnes from the IMBCO

Fast on the heels of the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights
demanding the introduction of homebirth regulations in Hungary, the highly
regarded worlwide organisation The International Motherbirth Child
Organisation (IMBCO) has added to the increasing pressure on the
Hungarian Government by issuing a strongly worded letter asking the
Government to release Agnes.

The key points of the IMBCO letter are contained in the following two
paragraphs:

”The Strasbourg ruling supports the view, held widely and firmly
amongst the international community, that Dr. Gereb’s professional
birth actions should never have been dealt with under the Hungarian
criminal code system. Had any of the Governments since 1989 introduced
good homebirth regulations, these would have ensured that her
professional actions would have been evaluated by a College of
Midwives or an equivalent professional body, as is the case in almost
all European countries. Prison is the wrong place and the criminal
code the wrong system upon which to fairly and properly judge Dr.
Gereb’s medical actions. Unfortunately, Dr. Gereb has had to endure
some 70 days of unfair and unnecessary imprisonment and suffered
levels of mistreatment that led inevitably to a further case being
filed before the ECHR concerning severe violations of her human
rights.

IMBCO would respectfully ask a democratic Hungary, the incoming
President of the European Union, what remedies it has available to its
citizens when it is clear, as in the case of Dr. Gereb, that a person,
totally innocent of criminal actions, is nevertheless imprisoned
indefinitely and faces serious criminal charges which could deprive
her of her freedom for a lengthy period? We hope in receiving your
answer, Secretary of State that we find a Government conscious of the
grave injustice that has been visited upon Dr Gereb and one willing to
find an immediate solution to secure her freedom”.

For further information on the work of the IMBCO in their global
effort to improve maternity care please visit their website:
http://www.imbci.org

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