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  • Send by email | Charity & Security Network
    Switch to audio verification Home page Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To Date Subscribe Publications The Latest News C SN Joins

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/printmail/1186 (2016-02-16)
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  • Legal Roadblocks for U.S. Famine Relief to Somalia Creating Humanitarian Crisis | Charity & Security Network
    the OFAC Treasury Department s Office of Foreign Assets Control issue According to an August 2009 report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA the delay in reaching a decision on humanitarian funding for Somalia by the US government is already impacting many agencies and their programmes creating a planning challenge Current law prohibits most contact with a designated terrorist group regardless of intent making distribution of food to hungry people living in regions controlled by such groups nearly impossible The humanitarian exemption to the prohibition against providing material support to terrorists only extends to medicine and religious materials Interaction with a designated group however is sometimes unavoidable During Sri Lanka s civil war for example the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam LTTE established an extensive network of checkpoints restricting who entered or left their territory After the 2004 tsunami left hundreds of thousand on the island in need humanitarian groups found it nearly impossible to deliver aid to the refugees without some contact with the LTTE In Somalia al Shabaab has reportedly made matters worse by requiring nonprofits to pay monthly security fees as part of permission to operate in areas they control Peter Smerdon a spokesman for the WFP said recently in November Shabaab gave us a list of 11 conditions for aid agencies to meet including removing women from jobs in aid work They also made a demand for payment of 20 000 over six months for security The New York Times reported that United Nations officials say they have no choice but to work with local Shabaab commanders to distribute critically needed aid like 110 pound bags of sorghum tins of vegetable oil plastic sheeting and medical supplies in Shabaab controlled areas The dilemma this creates in a humanitarian crisis is so severe that in the fall of 2009 according to the New York Times the State Department sought confirmation that OFAC Treasury will not seek enforcement action against United States government employees grantees and contractors if accidental unintentional or incidental benefits goes to al Shabab Treasury responded by saying any transactions with al Shabaab were prohibited but that it would not prosecute American aid officials if they acted in good faith That hardly serves as a guarantee Fear of incidental benefits to some members of adesignated group should not prevent the delivery of vital aid to a large population in need For instance if lives are saved because a U S nonprofit digs a well for a Somali village the fact that one al Shabaab member gets a drink of water should not deny this critical resource to the entire village To do otherwise is to impose collective punishment on the victims a clear violation of human rights standards More Barriers to Aid The UN is apparently also grappling with the problem and has drafted its own set of conditions for contractors delivering aid In late 2009 the UN and U S were at an impasse over what the language should

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/analysis/Legal_Roadblocks_Somalia_Crisis (2016-02-16)
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  • Norwegian Refugee Council Head Urges Congress Pass Humanitarian Assistance Facilitation Act to Help Syrians
    working in areas where terrorist groups control territory According to Egeland HAFA can help prevent the politicization of aid that can put humanitarians in danger Armed actors are suspicious says Egeland it is crucial that the U S government ensures that its funding is provided in a manner that both is and is perceived to be impartial Aid should be dispensed based on need alone and not on political considerations Aid that links aid workers to a particular side of the conflict is dangerous says Egeland HAFA allows legitimate aid groups to engage in minimal transactions with terrorists such as paying tolls or taxes if they are required to access needy civilians Without the protections of HAFA such transactions are tantamount to supporting terrorism despite the needs of civilians on the ground According to Egeland such protections help humanitarians to safely operate in these extremely dangerous contexts without the misperception of taking sides or compromising the needs of conflict affected populations In addition to HAFA Egeland urged swift action on other steps for Congress in the face of the current medieval siege tactics and deliberate starvation of hundreds of thousands These include continued pursuit of a political dialogue ensuring unimpeded

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/1212 (2016-02-16)
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  • Send by email | Charity & Security Network
    case sensitive Switch to audio verification Home page Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To Date Subscribe Publications The Latest News C

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/printmail/1212 (2016-02-16)
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  • Issues of Free Speech and Support of Terrorism Discussed in Petition to Supreme Court
    the case of Tarek Mehanna a Boston native who was sentenced to 17 years in prison for an act his lawyers say is protected by the First Amendment According to his lawyers Mehanna was convicted based on his translations of jihadist material that he posted on the Internet They argue that his actions rested entirely upon Mehanna s translation and dissemination of texts that he selected as expressive of his political or religious views This core First Amendment activity was not commissioned directed paid for by performed in concert with or presented to a foreign terrorist organization Mehanna s lawyers focused on the case Holder v Humanitarian Law Project HLP 3 to argue thier client s rights were violated The HLP and a group of other organizations wished to engage in conflict resolution and human rights training with two designated terrorist organizations an action that was prohibited by the U S material support law The HLP challenged the law arguing that it violated its rights including those under the First Amendment The Court ruled in favor of the law saying that any coordinated advocacy with a terrorist organization could be criminalized However the Court left the door open for future

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/1210 (2016-02-16)
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  • Unsealed Documents in Material Support Investigation Show FBI Focus on Speech, Association
    there has been no formal announcement The September 2010 raids on the office and homes of Anti War Committee members and members of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization in Chicago and Minneapolis were controversial from the start raising questions about how broadly the definition of material support would be applied to political solidarity efforts The investigation centered around whether there was support for the FARC in Colombia or the PFLP in Palestine both on the U S terrorist list The people whose homes were searched had participated in trips to Colombia or Palestine and raised money for unions or women s organizations that the documents claim are affiliated with the terrorist groups However these groups are not on the terrorist list maintained by the U S The Supreme Court ruling in Holder v Humanitarian Law Project 4 said the First Amendment protects advocacy that supports a terrorist organization if it is not coordinated with it However the court did not define coordination The affidavit from the undercover agent who infiltrated the Freedom Road Socialist Organization quotes extensively perhaps selectively from conversations with group members both recorded and unrecorded This appears to be the sole evidence supporting the searches The Defending Dissent Foundation s analysis 5 of the documents says the group was hard pressed to raise a few thousand dollars to send a delegation to Palestine and bring along a bit of extra money to contribute to the Palestinian Women s Union which is not designated as a terror organization In fact the document shows that the FBI couldn t find evidence of a crime after a full year of spying so they took matters into their own hands creating a crime and trying to ensnare the members of FRSO The list of items to be seized raises questions about

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/1203 (2016-02-16)
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  • Send by email | Charity & Security Network
    sensitive Switch to audio verification Home page Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To Date Subscribe Publications The Latest News C SN

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/printmail/1203 (2016-02-16)
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  • Nation-Wide Protests Support Activists Refusal to Testify | Charity & Security Network
    been identified No arrests have been made And when it raided several prominent organizers homes and offices on Sept 24 the FBI acknowledged that there is no immediate threat to the American public So what is this investigation really about According to the FBI the raids on 14 anti war and international solidarity activists in September 2010 were based on evidence in support of an ongoing Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation into activities concerning the material support of terrorism FBI agents seized financial records personal documents and advocacy materials from the homes and offices of members of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization FRSO and the Twin Cities Anti War Committee AWC Invoking their Fifth Amendment rights the 14 activists who initially received subpoenas declared that they would refuse to take the stand In response to widespread protest the U S Attorney s office in Chicago cancelled the subpoenas In late 2010 however subpoenas were issued to at least 23 activists Three of the activists Tracy Molm Ana Pham and Sarah Martin were offered immunity in exchange for their testimony meaning if they refuse to testify they could face a civil contempt charge and a prison sentence of about a year On Jan 25 thousands of demonstrators gathered in front of regional FBI offices across the country to support them In Minneapolis nearly 250 people stood outside a federal building and chanted From Minnesota to Palestine solidarity is not a crime Other cities such as Albany NY Louisville KY and Tuscon AZ also hosted to demonstrations Brief reports from the rallies held in different cities can be found here Speaking at the Minneapolis event Jess Sundin of the AWC criticized the legal framework that targets activism She said the law criminalizes simple acts of solidarity that should be protected by our

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Activists_protests_Chicago_grand_jury (2016-02-16)
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