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Thursday, July 9, 1998 Published at 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

Moves urged to get Filipinos on Saudi Arabia freed

Roman Catholic leaders in the Philippines have urged President Joseph Estrada to use his influence to try to get the release of twelve Filipinos detained in Saudi Arabia for allegedly preaching the Christian faith.

A Roman Catholic spokesman in Manila, Mongisnor Pedro Quitorio, said they were appealing direct to the president because a message to the Foreign Affairs Secretary had gone unanswered.

He said that it was an internationally recognised human right to practise one's religion, and that the government should take decisive action to get the Filipinos released.

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