Australian professor, 84, still trapped at Manila airport after nearly a week

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84-year-old Australian law professor Gill Boehringer receives a check-up at the NAIA, where he has been trapped since he early hours of last Wednesday morning.

An 84-year-old Australian law professor remains trapped at Manila airport, nearly a week after he was barred from entering the Philippines.

Gill Boehringer hasn’t been able to leave the airport since he arrived on a flight from China in the small hours of Wednesday, August 8. After he landed he was told that he had been included on the Bureau of Immigration’s ‘blacklist’ for allegedly joining a political rally three years ago.

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Today (Monday, August 13) his lawyer, Maria Sol Taule said he was still waiting for the BI to consider his application to temporarily enter the country for medical treatment.

The airline that flew him into the country has said it will not fly him out again until he gets clearance from a medical specialist outside the airport. 

His lawyers have previously said that he has a history of almost fatal pulmonary embolism, carries a high risk of deep vein thrombosis and suffers cellulitis in both legs, which are currently swollen. 

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In a statement issued today, the professor said: “There is no basis for my exclusion from the Philippines in what was an educational experience for myself, the others who travelled with me into the mountain district.” 

He also denied that he supported communist terrorist groups. “That is preposterous,” he said. “It seems that in the Philippines today almost anyone can be labelled a terrorist or in association with terrorists. I deny the accusation. I certainly am not a supporter of terrorism from whatever source.”

Geneve Rivera-Reyes from advocacy group Health Action for Human Rights examined Prof Boehringer after he arrived in the Philippines and confirmed that he was suffering from deep vein thrombosis and cellulitis on both legs.

She agreed it was “not safe” for him to travel again without a medical clearance.

On Friday, we reported that the BI denied responsibility for detaining Professor Boehringer, saying he was actually staying in the airline’s “exclusion room”, which it described as “comfortable”.

Professor Boehringer, formerly the head of law school of Sydney’s Macquarie University, has taught and researched at universities in the US, UK and Tanzania. He also served as an international election observer in the Philippines in 2007, 2010, and 2013. He is American by birth and married to a Filipina from Mindanao.

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