Dear President Janos Ader,
We the undersigned group of international maternal health, legal and human rights experts and activists are writing in connection with the clemency request currently under consideration by you with regard to Dr. Agnes Gereb. With this letter we wish to highlight our strongest possible support for Dr. Gereb's clemency request as she is internationally recognised as a person of the highest calibre and as a professional of the highest stature.
We believe this is the time to bring some level of closure and healing to the situation of Dr. Gereb where on-going criminal court proceedings against her have now been active for some 10 years. We are aware that the adverse birth incidents of the type involving Dr. Gereb, when they have arisen in Hungarian hospital settings, have not caused the maternity doctors concerned to be the subject of criminal investigation. This unequal and discriminatory mis-treatment of Dr. Gereb, by comparison to the usual non-punitive review of cases that her hospital peers have undergone, can now be lessened by your positive intervention and compassion.
Dr. Gereb has spent a lifetime working tirelessly and selflessly to improve maternity care and the dignity of birthing procedures in Hungary. Furthermore, she is an exemplary citizen, a dedicated professional, and an internationally respected midwife and doctor who has always brought honour to her country. Finally, Dr Gereb has had to endure preliminary prison detention, years of house confinement and ongoing debarment from professional work which has brought great stress upon her and her health and indeed great distress on her children, her elderly mother and her wider family.
For all of these reasons and more we now respectfully ask you to find the wisdom, the justness and the goodness to grant Dr. Gereb's request for clemency.
JETTE AAROE–CLAUSEN, PhD, Senior lecturer, Copenhagen University College, Denmark.
Dr. ANDREW BISITS, Director of Obstetrics, Royal Hospital for Women, Sydney, Australia.
PHILOMENA CANNING, Msc, Midwife, Chairperson Midwives for Choice, Dublin, Ireland.
BETTY-ANNE DAVISS, RM, MA, Adjunt Professor, Carleton University Ottowa, Canada.
ELIZABETH DAVIS, CPM, Author, Director of National Midwifery Institute, USA.
ROBBIE DAVIS-FLOYD, PhD, FSPA, Senior Research Fellow, University of Texas Austin, USA.
DANIELA DRANDIC, Maternity Rights Advocate & Researcher, Member of Govt. working group on Hospital Initiative, Croatia.
EUNICE (Kitty) ERNST, RN, CNM, MPH, DSc (Hon), Frontier Nursing University, Kentucky, USA.
HENCI GOER, Author, Founder & Director of Childbirth U, USA.
Professor NICK GRIEF, BA, PhD, Barrister Kent Law School, University of Kent, UK.
BARBARA HARPER, Author, Dir. Waterbirth International, President Gentle Birth World Instit, USA.
HERMINE HAYES-KLEIN, JD, Human Rights Lawyer. USA.
TONI HARMON, Founder One World Birth & Producer feature documentary Freedom for Birth, UK.
B. KATZ ROTHMAN, PhD, Professor of Sociology (Women’s Studies), City University New York, USA.
IVANA KONIGSMARKOVA, Midwife, President Czech Union of Midwives, Member of Govt. OB working Group, Czech Rep.
MAVIS KIRKHAM, PhD, Midwifery Professor Emerita, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.
BEVERLEY LAWRENCE-BEECH, ex-chair AIMS (UK) & former Fellow of the Royal Soc of Medicine, UK.
ROBIN LIM, CPN, Founder and Executive Board Director, Bumi Sehat Foundation, Bali, Indonesia.
INA MAY GASKIN, PhD (Hon.), Midwife, Author, co-recipient Right Livelihood Award (2011), USA.
Dr. MICHEL ODENT, Author of the first articles in the medical literature about the initiation of breastfeeding during the hour following birth, France.
KATARZYNA OLES, Midwife, Ashoka Fellow, President Assoc., of Independent Initiatives of Parents and Midwives ”Well Born”, Poland.
Professor LESLEY PAGE, CBE, former Pres. RCM (UK), Visiting Professor in Midwifery, UK.
DEBRA PASCALI BONARO, LCCE, BDT/PDT (DONA), Chair International MotherBaby Childbirth Org. USA.
ELIZABETH PROCHASKA, Barrister and Founder of Birthrights Organisation, UK.
REBECCA (BECKY) REED, Midwife, Author, ex-Albany Midwifery Practice London, Birth activist, UK.
JESUSA RICOY-OLARIAGA, Dip Ed, NCT teacher, International Activist and Founder of the Roses Revolution Movement, UK/Spain.
Professor WENDY SAVAGE, current CBMA member, retired ob/gynecologist from Royal London Hospital, UK.
JURGITA SVEDIENE, MSc, Midwife, Physiotherapist, Pres. of organisation ”Birth” & the Director of Assoc., Watsu LT, Lithuania.
JAN TRITTEN, Midwife, Founder & Editor-in-chief Midwifery Today magazine, USA.
SARASWATHI VEDAM, RM FACNM MSN Sci D(hc), Associate Prof. (Midwifery) University of British Colombia, Canada.
Dame CATHY WARWICK, former CEO at RCM (UK), visiting Professor Kings College, London,UK.
ALEX WAKEFORD, Founder One World Birth & Producer feature documentary Freedom for Birth, UK.