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  • Former President Carter, Others Call on Secretary Kerry to Remove Barriers to Peacebuilding
    Carter was sent to Secretary of State John F Kerry on June 20 asking that he exempt peacebuilding activities from the ban on engagement with groups on the terrorist list It was delivered the day before the third anniversary of a Supreme Court ruling 3 that upheld federal restrictions on peacebuilding activities that are conducted with listed terrorist organizations See also Time to let peace builders do their job 4

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/1043 (2016-02-16)
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  • Article: Chilling Effect of the Material Support Statute on Humanitarian Aid
    million at risk Somalis trapped on al Shabaab controlled territory Fearing prosecution for any diversion of humanitarian resources to al Shabaab a group classified as a terrorist organization by the U S many aid groups chose to focus their humanitarian programs in places outside of the militant s group reach meaning the regions hardest hit by the famine were largely left without any international assistance The article notes the most effective approach to change would be formal amendment of the statute but notes that This approach however appears to be politically infeasible at least in the short term It then goes on to recommend administrative changes that can be made by the Department of Justice emphasizing amending prosecutorial guidelines to formalize safe harbors for aid that meets specific criteria It then offers procedural approaches to instituting these substantive guidelines They include Clarify and Publicize Guidelines Concerning Types of Aid Adding to the existing statutory exemptions for medicine and religious materials the government should identify specific types of permissible aid including international human rights law training and food and shelter delivered in the event of a humanitarian crisis Clarify and Publicize Guidelines Concerning Recipient Organizations Assist individual private donors by providing them with a clear list of safe recipient organizations through which they could channel charitable donations Clarify and Publicize a Specific Intent Requirement Prosecutors should refrain from prosecuting those individuals who although they provided material support to a terrorist organization as defined by the statute did not intend to further terrorist aims thereby creating a specific intent requirement Develop New Procedural Options Amend the Statute a statutory amendment which would conclusively narrow the current scope of liability and provide reassurance to humanitarian organizations and donors thereby effectively addressing the chilling effect on aid For example the Secretary of State has

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/1047 (2016-02-16)
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  • State Dept. Denies Counterterrorism Law Contributed to Somali Famine
    response For example QUESTION but the report actually does state that though the early warning system had information up to five years in advance the aid and the assistance and the response for that came much too late until it was already at an emergency level I mean is this is there something policy wise that needs to be looked at where is there a disconnect between the early warning system and the science and aid that s been pledged from there Ventrell s response was to promise to get back to the reporter later after consulting with an expert The Charity Security Network has called for Congressional hearings 8 to look into legal restrictions on humanitarian assistance so that U S law does is not a contributing factor to such tragedies in the future The portion of the transcript of the State Department s May 2 2013 press briefing on this topic is reprinted below QUESTION Do you have any response to the new USAID FEWS report that came out MR VENTRELL Oh yeah QUESTION that estimates 260 000 Somalis were killed half under the age of five in the famine MR VENTRELL Thanks for the question Dana The United States is deeply saddened by the loss of life and human suffering caused by the 2011 to 2012 Somalia famine The causes of this devastating event were complex and went beyond just poor rains to include difficult economic political security and social issues But just to say that the regions of Somalia most affected by severe food instability and famine were primarily areas that al Shabaab controlled Al Shabaab s inhumane blockage of humanitarian assistance prior to and during the famine including banning dozens of humanitarian organizations from providing life saving assistance thwarted a more rapid international humanitarian response that could have saved even more lives And equally al Shabaab s refusal to allow affected populations to leave al Shabaab controlled areas prevented them from seeking assistance elsewhere So it our sanctions against al Shabaab didn t prevent our aid from getting there that wasn t the issues QUESTION But not at first it did You suspended the license I think it was either August July or August of 2011 but you placed the sanctions on Shabaab in 2010 2009 before the famine Isn t that correct MR VENTRELL Right But we provided 360 million in life saving assistance to go to all Somalis in need and it was al Shabaab that prohibited the delivery of assistance to areas of Somalia under its control Okay QUESTION The UN s saying that they should have done more to prevent this famine Is that something is that an assessment you agree with MR VENTRELL I hadn t seen that particular UN reaction but from our perspective our early warning system network worked and we had information about the crisis as it was developing and made the efforts to respond appropriately QUESTION I don t think anyone is trying to blame the

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/1021 (2016-02-16)
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  • Send by email | Charity & Security Network
    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 More

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/printmail/1021 (2016-02-16)
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  • Exempt Peacebuilding Activities from Material Support Law: Faith leaders to Sec Clinton
    leaders join a coalition of nearly fifty former diplomats peacebuilders foreign policy and other experts who wrote a similar letter 3 to Clinton in May 2011 It is not in the U S interest for legal restrictions to negate civil society s comparative advantages in mitigating extremism on the ground the letter says When Congress passed the material support law it gave the Secretary of State the power to grant exemptions for activity involving training expert and advice and assistance and personnel 18 USC 2339 B j The proposed exemption 4 would permit specific types of peacebuilding activities that are designed to reduce or eliminate the frequency and severity of violent conflict or to reduce its impact on noncombatants Supporters of the exemption say it would clear the way for Track II diplomacy 5 strategic talks that occur outside of official diplomatic channels which has been beneficial to the U S in the past Melanie Greenberg 6 President and CEO of the Alliance for Peacebuilding said that We urge Secretary Clinton as part of her legacy to carve out an exemption from the material support laws for peacebuilding activity by professionals in the field The kinds of processes that led to the Oslo Accords and the Good Friday Accords would be impossible in today s legal climate and diplomats hands are being tied by the lack of a safety valve for informal dialogue with armed groups One of the letter s signatories Paul Alexander 7 President elect of Evangelicals for Social Action supports the removal of these barriers saying peace with justice comes through communication and negotiation not violent coercion He added we won t get peacemakers at the table if they are at risk of prosecution Other signatories to the letter included Rev Rick Love President of Peace Catalyst

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/927 (2016-02-16)
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  • WEBCAST: The State of Track II Diplomacy Two Years After the Humanitarian Law Project Decision | Charity & Security Network
    Decision The event will begin at 3 30pm EST For Q A To send questions to the presenters during the Q A portion of the event please email info charityandsecurity org Materials Each link will open in a new window and will not interrupt the webcast Letter to Secretary Clinton Calling for an Exemption to Conflict Resolution Programs Examples of Impacts of the Material Support Prohibition on Peacebuilding PVS Information Form Presentation PVS Information Form Mission Order Presentation Mission Order CSN Publications Deadly Combination Disaster Conflict and the U S Material Support Law Safeguarding Humanitarianism in Armed Conflict A Call for Reconciling International Legal Obligations and Counterterrorism Measures in the United States 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 More Than 50 Orgs in Raising Concerns About UN s Work on Preventing Violent Extremism February 8 2016 New Budget Language Intended to Rein

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/webcast/Track_2_Diplomacy_After_HLP (2016-02-16)
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  • Somali Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison
    to al Shabaab which has been engaged in a protracted conflict with the country s internationally recognized government for years Yusuf had been a volunteer at the Humanitarian African Relief Organization HARO a U S based non profit organization helping persons in the Horn of Africa Nearly two million Somalis remain in a food crisis since famine was declared in July 2011 with millions more in the region also at risk According to a statement 3 from Yusef s defense team she is a daughter with great heart She will go beyond her ability to help others She is highly beloved in the Somali Community HARO was not involved in the case Charles Rees one of Yusuf s lawyers said she never intended the funds to support military objectives He said she believed she was helping the young men with debts medical assistance and other matters She never meant any harm to the U S Rees said We will aggressively pursue those who choose to send money or other resources to organizations that support terrorist acts FBI Special Agent Daphne Hearn said after the senetencing This is a serious crime against our country and our citizenry and those who engage

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/945 (2016-02-16)
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  • Send by email | Charity & Security Network
    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 More Than

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/printmail/945 (2016-02-16)
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