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  • Proposed Secretary of State Exemption from Material Support Ban for Peacebuilding Activities | Charity & Security Network
    advice or assistance that facilitates dialogue and promotes opportunities for parties to armed conflict to discuss peaceful resolution of their differences and logistics necessary to support such dialogue Training including in person written and virtual presentations aimed at demonstrating the benefits of nonviolent methods of dispute resolution and providing the skills and information necessary to carry it out Expert advice assistance and dialogue aimed at increasing the human security of noncombatant civilians under international humanitarian law and logistics necessary to carry this out Sec State Authority for this Action TITLE 18 2339B Providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations j Exception No person may be prosecuted under this section in connection with the term personnel training or expert advice or assistance if the provision of that material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization was approved by the Secretary of State with the concurrence of the Attorney General The Secretary of State may not approve the provision of any material support that may be used to carry out terrorist activity as defined in section 212 a 3 B iii of the Immigration and Nationality Act Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/solution/Sec_State_Exemption_Peacebuilding (2016-02-16)
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  • Sen. Leahy to DOJ: Issue Guidance to Protect Humanitarian Activities | Charity & Security Network
    calling for reforms to the material support law because it imposes unintended constraints on legitimate humanitarian assistance in places like Somalia and undermines diplomacy and peace building efforts around the world He asks the Attorney General to issue guidelines that remove the uncertainty over the scope of the material support law and establish a process by which humanitarian groups may seek exemptions We need greater clarity in the law so that in the future Government officials and reputable humanitarian relief agencies need not delay the delivery of desperately needed aid while they scramble for a license Leahy said 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 In Partner Vetting System January 21 2016 Over 100 Nonprofits Ask FATF to Revise

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/node/639 (2016-02-16)
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  • U.S. Announces New Policy to Allow Famine Aid in Somalia | Charity & Security Network
    by al Shabab will not be prosecuted for violating U S law if they act in good faith to reach victims of the famine Read more Sen Patrick Leahy s Aug 3 press release regarding humanitarian relief in Somalia The current law is so broad as to be unworkable Aid workers trying to provide relief to starving Somalis fear they could be prosecuted if some of it were to end up in the hands of al Shabab The Secretary of State has the power to grant exemptions where the purpose is not to engage in terrorist activity She should use that authority immediately to ensure aid can reach as many Somalis as possible 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

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/node/617 (2016-02-16)
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  • Sen. Leahy Letter to AG Holder and Sec. State Clinton: Concerns About Famine Relief, Peacebuilding and the Material Support Law | Charity & Security Network
    Holder and Clinton to facilitate a dialog between the administration and affected organization to produce a set of guidelines that remove the uncertainty with the scope of the material support law and the establishment of a process by which actors may seek exemptions Leahy notes that relief organizations are desperately trying to meet the need for food and medical care in the Horn of Africa but that fear their staff could be prosecuted if aid some aid unintentionally is diverted to al Shabaab a listed terrorist organization While acknowledging that the State Department took steps to address these concerns Leahy notes that the Department declined to explain publicly what those steps include He urges State to grant exemptions to relief organizations focused on this crisis The letter closes by noting that the humanitarian needs of the world and the security of the United States are both served by enabling non governmental actors to fulfill their missions The full text of the letter is here and Sen Leahy s Press Statement is here 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

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Leahy_Letter_Concerns_Famine_Relief_Peacebuilding_Material_Support (2016-02-16)
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  • Two Law Review Articles Criticize Impact of Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project | Charity & Security Network
    terrorist organizations are so tainted by their criminal conduct that any contribution to such an organization facilitates terrorism However the author notes a troubling lack of evidence for this concept only an affidavit from a State Department official a book from a former Treasury Department Official and an amicus brief are cited The author concludes that because of the decision now expressions of solidarity such as working within a group for peaceful change are not allowed The Supreme Court Material Support and the Lasting Impact of Holder v Humanitarian Law Project by Robert Chesney argues that the scope of Holder v HLP is limited and decides relatively little with respect to close cases that may arise in the future The author warns however that the mere prospect of prosecution under the material support statute can have a substantial impact on civil society and advocacy groups An overview of the Holder v HLP case can be found here 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

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/studies/Two_Law_Reviews_Holder_HLP (2016-02-16)
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  • Supreme Court’s Humanitarian Law Project Ruling Fails the Common Sense Test | Charity & Security Network
    international pariahs will make them lose local support There is a disconnect between these theories and reality There are also questions about what is the smart and humane policy For instance Peacebuilding does not aid terrorism This axiom may seem obvious but the majority s opinion rejects it Chief Justice Roberts argued that conflict mediators and peacebuilding trainers legitimize terrorist groups by teaching nonviolent conflict resolution skills This ignores the fact that conflicts cannot be effectively resolved unless all parties are part of negotiations It also confuses the role of independent civil society groups with governments If the State Department provided the training it would confer a level of legitimacy but nongovernmental groups play a different role Experts in peacebuilding have standards and protocols to address the issues Roberts raises A May 2010 Special Report from the United State Institute of Peace Mediating Peace With Proscribed Armed Groups recognizes the pitfalls and risks involved But it goes on to lay out measured criteria and conditions for engaging these groups It notes that counterterrorism measures create impediments for peace negotiations It recommends steps to reform the process including a proper evaluation of the effectiveness of existing proscription and deproscription regimes in the context of the greater political objectives of promoting successful peace processes and political settlements leading to improved governance and social and economic development The radioactive strategy alone does not work Listing and shunning terrorist groups is not enough to have them lay down their arms One designated group in the HLP case the Kurdistan Workers Party PKK was labeled a terrorist organization by the U S government before the HLP case was filed 14 years ago but it is still operating The day before the Supreme Court ruled in the HLP case the Washington Post reported on increased fighting between the PKK and Turkish soldiers Then t he day after the decision a tragedy occurred that might have been avoided if the Humanitarian Law Project had been allowed to teach the PKK to solve its problems through nonviolent means A PKK affiliated group bombed a bus in Istanbul killing four soldiers and a 17 year old civilian Collective punishment is wrong The radioactive theory has an underlying assumption that denying any kind of assistance including peacebuilding and humanitarian aid will cause the civilian populations to suffer and that they will blame that suffering on the terrorist group This amounts to collective punishment of entire populations a violation of Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which calls for Non discrimination in delivery of services and benefits including factors such as ethnicity religion opinion national origin or the political or international status of the nation to which a person belongs emphasis added Humanitarian considerations aside there is a real question about who gets blamed when aid or resources for peace negotiations are withheld Unfortunately it is often the U S and not the terrorist group that is seen as the problem The HLP decision has serious implications for

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/blog/Supreme_Court_Humanitarian_Law_Project_Ruling_Fails_Common_Sense_Test (2016-02-16)
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  • Multimedia resources for the Supreme Court case: Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project | Charity & Security Network
    speech and the fight against terrorism A small California human rights organization wants to provide legal advice to a Kurdish militant group in Turkey They want to steer them on a path toward a peace process and train them to bring a case before the United Nations In fact it might end up diffusing a long and bloody insurrection by bringing two parties to the negotiating table Trouble is that Kurdish militant group is a foreign terrorist organization at least according to the U S State Department Any advice or assistance could be considered material support for terrorism putting that American organization in legal jeopardy Describing the type pf work HLP wanted to do Liptak said The question in this case is whether some terms are too vague or present First Amendment problems So Congress has also prohibited training personnel service or expert advice and assistance Humanitarian Law Project want to help people mediate their disputes They want the Kurdish militant group to appeal to the U N to solve problems in Turkey and elsewhere They want to perhaps represent the group in the Supreme Court and file the friend of the court brief in the Supreme Court And the government s position is that even that kind of help crosses the line is material support Explaining how major newspapers in the United States had published op ed pieces between 2008 2010 Cole said Under this law The New York Times Washington Post and L A Times are all guilty of providing material support to a terrorist group because they provided a service by publishing that op ed on behalf of Hamas And any coordinated speech with one of these groups the government says is a prohibited service President Jimmy Carter who was on the same amicus brief that the

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/background/media_highlights_Holder_v_Humanitarian_Law (2016-02-16)
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  • Supreme Court Ruling in HLP: Provision of Advocacy and Training in Nonviolent Peaceful Conflict Resolution Violates Material Support Laws | Charity & Security Network
    established principle of constitutional avoidance Accordingly the Government should be required to show knowledge or intent for the First Amendment protected pure speech and association to assist the designated organization s terrorist activities To prove knowledge the government must show knowledge that his support bears a significant likelihood of furthering the organization s terrorist ends p 18 Does the material support law violate the First Amendment freedom of speech because it criminalizes providing material support without requiring proof that HLP had a specific intent to further terrorism activity The court found The highest standard of judicial review the strict scrutiny test applies which requires the government to show that restricting First Amendment protected activities serves a compelling government interest HLP activities do not constitute pure political speech HLP activities are not limited to conduct but also include speech The government may ban HLP material support to the PKK and LTTE in the form of speech Any contribution even in the form of speech to a terrorist organization legitimizes the organizations terrorist activity Providing designated groups with any form of material support strains the U S s relations with its allies and undermines international efforts to combat terrorism The majority reasoned The Court rejected the government s claim that the only thing at issue in this case was conduct not speech Although the law is directed at conduct but as applied to HLP the conduct triggering coverage under the statute consists of communicating a message p 23 Thus the highest standard of judicial review the strict scrutiny standard applies This standard requires the government to show that restricting First Amendment protected activities serves a compelling government interest Neither party disputed that combating terrorism is a compelling government interest The parties disputed however whether prohibiting HLP s activities served this interest The Court also rejected HLP s claim that the activities in which it sought to engage constitute pure political speech HLP is free to speak and write freely about the PKK and LTTE the governments of Turkey and Sri Lanka human rights and international law so long as they do not do so in coordination with or under the direction of the PKK and LTTE What HLP cannot do the Court held is provide material support in the form of coordinated speech activities to such groups p 21 HLP emphasized that the ban on material support as applied to their activities does not further the government s compelling interest to combat terrorism To the contrary HLP s activities will advance only the legitimate activities of the designated terrorist organizations not their terrorism p 23 In rejecting this reasoning the Court cited a finding in the Congressional Recor d wherein Congress stated F oreign organizations that engage in terrorist activity are so tainted by their criminal conduct that any contribution to such an organization facilitates that conduct emphasis in opinion p 24 This statement applied to all forms of support not just monetary support as HLP contends In arriving at this conclusion the Court adopted a fungibility of resources theory wherein any support even in the form of training to cease engaging in violence frees up other resources within the organization that may be put to violent ends p 25 The Court also adopted a legitimization theory wherein any form of support to a terrorist organization supposedly lends it legitimacy that makes it easier for those groups to persist to recruit members and to raise funds all of which facilitate more terrorist attacks p 25 Finally the Court denied HLP s First Amendment claims based on deference to the executive branch on matters concerning national security and foreign affairs According the majority HLP s activities undermine the U S s relationships with its allies who are harmed by the organization s violent activities In deference to the executive branch the Court stated that it was inappropriate to substitute its own assessments as to whether restricting HLP s activities served the government s compelling interest in combating terrorism In sum the Court held that restricting HLP s speech related activities as applied served the government s compelling interest in combating terrorism The dissent reasoned Although the government has a compelling interest to combat terrorism it failed to prove that restricting HLP s speech served this interest All of the activities involve the communication of advocacy of political ideas and lawful means of achieving political ends p 2 Therefore they are the sort of activities that warrant the First Amendment s strongest protection p 3 The dissent noted that the mere fact of coordination alone is not a sufficient basis for the removal of the First Amendment s protection because freedom of association is protected p 4 Moreover the right to associate is not lost because some members of a group may have participated in conduct or advocated doctrine that is not protected By extension the fact that the PKK or LTTE engage in violent activities does not strip HLP of their protected speech and association rights directed towards persuading these groups to cease using violence to resolve their grievances p 5 While conceding the Government s expertise in foreign affairs and national security the dissent noted that it is up to the Court to decide whether otherwise protected speech can be criminalized p 16 Simply because foreign governments may not like us for granting such rights does not justify restricting protected speech Does the material support law violate the First Amendment freedom of association because it criminalizes provision of material support without requiring proof that HLP had a specific intent to further terrorism activity The majority rejected HLP s First Amendment freedom of association claims on the same grounds on which it rejected HLP s free speech claims The majority and dissenting opinions did not offer any additional or separate reasoning than provided in their rulings on the freedom of speech claim Does the material support law violate the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause because training expert advice or assistance service and personnel

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/litigation/Summary_Supreme_Court_Ruling_Humanitarian_Law_Project%3A_Advocacy_Training_in_Nonviolent_Peaceful_ConflictResolution (2016-02-16)
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